Florida has been unable to put together a long winning streak in the past month, managing more than two straight victories once since mid-May.
Now it will be up to interim manager Edwin Rodriguez to try and turn the Marlins’ season around.
The Marlins (34-36) fired Fredi Gonzalez earlier on Wednesday after he went 276-279 in three-plus seasons. Also dismissed were bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley.
Florida started the day fourth in the NL East, 7 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta.
“We still have a very long season in front of us, and plenty of time to turn things around,” owner Jeffrey Loria said. “Everyone—our fans, our team, our organization, and myself—wants us to win. That continues to be, and will always be, the goal.”
Gonzalez is the third manager to be fired this year, joining Kansas City’s Trey Hillman and Baltimore’s Dave Trembley.
The 49-year-old Rodriguez, who played 11 games with the Yankees and San Diego from 1982-85, is in his eighth season with Florida, and has managed at Triple-A New Orleans for the past 1 1/2 seasons.
He takes over a team that has won three of four, and is in position for its first three-game winning streak since May 30-June 1 after beating the Orioles 10-4 on Tuesday in Gonzalez’s finale. The Marlins recorded their highest-scoring game since a 14-9 victory over Tampa Bay on June 11.
The challenge now for Florida is sustaining that momentum. Since an 8-2 stretch from May 10-19, the Marlins have gone 12-17.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez(notes), who sat out Sunday with a tight hamstring, had three hits and three RBIs on Tuesday. It was his first three-hit game since May 19, improving his average in interleague play to .333 this season.
“We’re not necessarily concerned with the .500 mark because once we do get back to it we need to keep going,” second baseman Dan Uggla(notes) said. “Right now we’re all about winning and coming together as a team. We can’t waste any more time. We have to make a move.”
The Marlins will try to start doing so when they face Matusz (2-7, 4.67 ERA) for the first time.
The left-hander is in the midst of an 11-game winless streak but has pitched very well in four starts this month, posting a 2.39 ERA and going 0-2 in that span. The Orioles gave him five runs of support in those outings.
Matusz allowed one run in six innings of a 3-2 loss to San Diego on Friday as Baltimore (19-51) fell to 3-11 in his starts.
The right-hander gave up four runs - two earned - in six innings of a 6-4 defeat to Texas on Thursday. He has gone 1-4 with a 7.20 ERA in his last six outings.
Nolasco has pitched well in two starts versus the Orioles, going 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA and lasting seven innings each time. He gave up two unearned runs in a 5-2 home victory over Baltimore on June 24.