ST. PETERSBURG — Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez unexpectedly resigned before Sunday's game with the Rays, shocking a reeling club that has lost 18 of its past 19 games.
Rodriguez, 50, was 32-39 in his first full season as manager, with the Marlins plummeting from 10 games over .500 in May to last place in the National League East. Bench coach Brandon Hyde served as manager Sunday as Larry Beinfest, Florida's president of baseball operations, started a search for an interim manager to finish the season.
Beinfest said Rodriguez communicated with him in the morning that he was thinking about it. He accepted his resignation at Tropicana Field.
"It was a very hard decision for me to make, with the positive way the organization is moving; a new ballpark next season, and the young core of players that this team has," Rodriguez said in a statement. "I can't say enough about the effort that this staff and these players have put into this season."
Beinfest told the players in a team meeting a few hours before the game.
"It was surprising, I guess, but I think it's more shocking," Marlins 3B Wes Helms said. "Right now, nothing is going right for us. Right now, it's all negative with the Marlins, that's the way it is. It's tough to swallow, it really is. I do know he did everything he could. We didn't do our job as a team."
Rays manager Joe Maddon said Rodriguez may have resigned for the sake of the team.
"He's one of the nicest, most decent men I've met in this game, and it's unfortunate that he has to feel the weight of this whole moment because it's not his fault," Maddon said. "It's a really small fraternity, and when that happens, it really does bother me, especially a guy like him who has worked so hard to get to this point."
PUJOLS HURT: Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols sprained his left wrist and hurt his shoulder in a collision at first base in the sixth inning against the Royals. Manager Tony La Russa said Pujols had "good strength" in his wrist during initial tests. He will be re-evaluated today.
BLUE JAYS: SS Yunel Escobar agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract extension that includes club options for 2014 and 2015.
BRAVES: OF Nate McLouth was activated from the disabled list after missing 22 games with a strained oblique. Utility player Joe Mather was designated for assignment.
BREWERS: An MRI exam on RHP Shaun Marcum showed no structural damage to his sore left hip, and he might start Wednesday against the Rays.
DODGERS: LH reliever Hong-Chih Kuo was activated from the disabled list after missing more than a month with anxiety disorder. C Rod Barajas went on the DL with a right ankle sprain, RHP Ramon Troncoso was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and C A.J. Ellis was recalled from Albuquerque.
INDIANS: Jon Nunnally was fired as hitting coach and replaced by Bruce Fields.
NATIONALS: CF Rick Ankiel went on the disabled list with a strained left intercostal muscle.
PADRES: 2B Orlando Hudson was activated from the disabled list, and INF Logan Forsythe was optioned to Triple-A Tucson.
RED SOX: RHP Clay Buchholz went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back. LHP Andrew Miller was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket.
ROYALS: Rookie LHP Danny Duffy left the game in the fourth inning with leg cramps.
WHITE SOX: Manager Ozzie Guillen spent the morning at a hospital passing a kidney stone but returned for the game.
YANKEES: RHP Phil Hughes, on the disabled list for two months with shoulder inflammation, allowed a run in 41/3 innings for Class A Staten Island and threw consistently in the low to mid 90s in his first rehab start.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.