Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie can expect a suspension from Major League Baseball for throwing his helmet -- hitting home plate umpire Bill Miller -- after a called third strike in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Lawrie looked at a high full-count pitch from Tampa closer Fernando Rodney and started trotting to first base when he realized that Miller had called him out. Lawrie had also headed toward first after the 3-1 pitch that he thought was ball four.

Miller may have thought that Lawrie was showing him up after the second strike was called and therefore did not give him the benefit of the doubt on the next pitch.

"I'm not sure if he did or not," Lawrie said. "That's totally not the way I wanted to come across. I just thought it was ball four and started running. I wasn't going to just stand there and look at him waiting for him to make the call. Turns out it was a strike and I had to come back and do it all over again."

The final pitch of the at-bat appeared borderline high and perhaps outside, and Lawrie headed toward first again.

After realizing he had been rung up, the Jays third baseman lost his composure, pulled the helmet off his head and slammed it to the ground at Miller's feet. The helmet bounced and struck Miller on the leg.