The 47-year-old skipper was ejected after unleashing a profanity-laced tirade at plate umpire Doug Eddings in the fourth inning of the series opener at Comerica Park.
Ausmus, who has faced a barrage of questions about his job security during the Tigers' abysmal skid in recent weeks, tore into Eddings after a called strike against third baseman Nick Castellanos in the bottom of the fourth.
Castellanos was the first to show his displeasure with the call, but Ausmus promptly intervened on his player's behalf, showering Eddings with a slew of expletives -- and half-chewed sunflower seeds -- in an impassioned rant that ended with him taking off his sweatshirt and draping it over home plate in disgust.
"There was a culmination of a lot of things," Ausmus told reporters. "As far as the blowup, there comes a point when you get seven or eight guys coming back from home plate complaining about the strike zone -- they can't all be wrong.
"I was angry and I just kind of unraveled."
Ausmus' tirade was picked up by microphones on the television broadcast, and he apologized to any children who might have heard it, instructing them not to repeat his language.
"I certainly don't want any kids to hear it, but I wasn't going out there to be politically correct," he said.
Ausmus said his frustration was only about the strike zone, even though he has been a whipping boy for fans, especially during the team's recent skid -- 11 losses in the past 13 games entering Monday.
Earlier in the day, Ausmus already was showing signs of chippiness, snapping at reporters who inquired about his future with the organization.
"We get it. I'm on the hot seat," Ausmus barked at reporters before the game. "I might get fired. We're done talking about it. You want to talk about baseball, you want to talk about the Tigers, you want to talk about getting on a winning streak, that's fine. This, we're beating a dead horse."
However, he saw his approval rating soar as he stormed off the field after getting tossed.
When Ausmus left the game, the Tigers were ahead 8-7. Following his ejection, bench coach Gene Lamont assumed managerial duties.
Ausmus ejected, leaves sweatshirt at home plate
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is ejected after arguing balls and strikes with home plate ump Doug Eddings in the fourth, but before leaving the field he casually takes off his sweatshirt and lays it down on home plate.