CLEVELAND -- Scott Kazmir started digging into the mound, trying to rebound from a tough at-bat that ended with a walk.
Then he realized that home-plate umpire Jerry Layne had just ejected him.
Making his return to Cleveland, Kazmir was thrown out in the second inning.
"It's very frustrating," Kazmir said. "I was looking forward to this start, actually felt really good, probably the best I felt going out there. I was hitting a lot of spots. It just didn't work out."
Layne called Kazmir's payoff pitch against Jesus Aguilar ball four instead of strike three. The walk was Kazmir's second of the inning, and the A's left-hander showed his displeasure with the call.
Layne did not like Kazmir's reaction, and the pitcher was tossed almost immediately.
"I don't really know how to start," Kazmir said. "It just ended up being a pitch I thought was a strike. He didn't agree with it, and before I knew it, I was out of the game. It actually didn't even register that I was out of the game.
Layne said the ejection was a by-the-book response to arguing balls and strikes.
"He was gesturing and arguing balls and strikes," Layne said. "That's automatic ejection. When I warned him, he didn't take any knowledge of that, and that's it."
Oakland manager Bob Melvin came out of the dugout to protest the ejection, and he did so vigorously. Layne let Melvin release some of his steam, and the skipper returned to the bench without incident.
Melvin said after the game that Layne said he had warned Kazmir, but both the pitcher and his manager felt that the hook was pretty quick.
"I think the warning was in mid-breath," Kazmir said. "It was warning, then you're out of here in the same breath. It was surprising, it was. But what are you going to do?"
Dan Otero came on in relief of Kazmir, getting Mike Aviles to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Kazmir walked three and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings.
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.