In a 1-1 game, Diaz, who has had run-ins with Girardi and the Yankees before, called a 1-0 pitch from Jered Weaver a strike, although it appeared to be borderline low. Girardi rushed from the dugout to confront Diaz, shouting and tossing his hat to the ground several times.
"I mentioned to Laz in a respectful way that I thought the pitch was up to Kelly Johnson earlier in the game, and he gave me the Mutombo," Girardi said, imitating a wagging index finger. "I don't appreciate that. I'm not a little kid. I don't need to be scolded. Obviously we're trying to work together, and I just thought there were a lot of inconsistencies tonight.
"It's the biggest pitch of the game to that point," Girardi said of the 1-0 to Gardner that Diaz called a strike. "It's a lot different [at] 2-0. It changes the whole at-bat. Now the pressure is clearly on the pitcher."
Girardi believed Diaz was intentionally instigating conflict with the Yankees.
After Girardi was ejected, Gardner struck out. On the next pitch, Derek Jeter rapped into an inning-ending double play, snuffing out a threat that began with the Yankees loading the bases with none out.
The Angels went on to score three runs on five straight walks. Yankees relievers Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton and Preston Claiborne walked six overall in the eighth, the most walks in an inning by New York since 1990. The Angels went on to win 4-1.
It was Girardi's first ejection of the season and first since Aug. 18, when he was tossed after a melee between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox over a Ryan Dempster beanball directed at Alex Rodriguez.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.