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ST. LOUIS — New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for the fifth time this season, tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Plate umpire Dan Merzel ejected Boone with an 0-1 count on Gleyber Torres after Boone complained from the dugout over a 3-1 pitch to the previous batter, DJ LeMahieu, that was called a strike despite appearing to be well above the strike zone.

Boone became involved in a lengthy argument with Merzel and crew chief Lance Barksdale after the ejection.

“Obviously, I got tossed there. I feel like DJ worked a walk there,” Boone said in his postgame availability. “That was a big point in that game. First and second with one out.”

Boone’s five ejections top major league managers this season, one more than Minnesota’s Rocco Baldelli, Cincinnati’s David Bell and San Diego’s Bob Melvin. Boone led the majors with nine last season, when no other manager had more than five.

Of Boone’s five ejections, this was the first from Merzel, and in his availability, the manager lauded the season-long efforts of Merzel.

“I think Dan is a really good, young umpire,” Boone added. “I really do.”

Boone also was ejected against Cleveland on April 12, against Toronto on May 15, against Cincinnati on May 21 and against Baltimore on May 25. He served a one-game suspension following the ejection against the Orioles with MLB citing his conduct toward umpires.

Boone has been ejected 31st times as Yankees manager, sixth among active managers behind Texas’ Bruce Bochy (80), Melvin (58), Cleveland’s Terry Francona (47), the New York Mets‘ Buck Showalter (36) and Colorado’s Bud Black (35).

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza took over as manager and watched Cardinals starter Jordan Montgomery, a former Yankee, baffle the New York lineup. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, when Torres doubled, and outdueled Gerrit Cole, as the Yankees completed a disappointing 3-3 road trip.

“That’s Monty at his best,” Boone said. “Obviously, we’ve got to find a way to do a little bit more. But just watching him, I thought he was excellent.”

Montgomery allowed an unearned run, two hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. The 30-year-old left-hander made his big league debut with the Yankees in 2017 and was traded to the Cardinals last Aug. 2 for centerfielder Harrison Bader.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone ejected for 5th time this season