Rodriguez quits as coach of slumping Marlins

MIAMI (Reuters) - Edwin Rodriguez resigned as manager of the struggling Florida Marlins on Sunday with the team in a June nosedive, the National League club said.

The Marlins (32-39) entered Sunday's game with the Tampa Bay Rays in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. They have won only once in 18 games this month after having a 29-19 record in late May.

Brandon Hyde, the team's bench coach, was named interim manager.

Rodriguez, the first Puerto Rican born to become a Major League manager, said he was grateful for the opportunity to manage in the Majors.

"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," he said in a statement.

Although Rodriguez's job had been rumored to be in danger, Beinfest said the timing was a surprise.

Rodriguez, 50, was named the Marlins' skipper last June. The team finished the season 80-82 with Rodriguez going 46-46.

But their current skid of 20 defeats in 23 games, the team's worst since the Marlins dropped 25 of 29 in 1998, led to calls for him to go.

"I'd like to believe this is an aberration," Beinfest said.

"I think we're capable of performing much better than we have."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh; Editing by Justin Palmer)