BALTIMORE (AP)—As Edwin Rodriguez spoke about his debut as a major league manager, the spoils of victory were assembled atop his desk at Camden Yards: the game ball, the lineup card and a half-empty bottle of fine champagne.
The souvenirs were nice, yet Rodriguez didn’t need them to appreciate the most significant accomplishment of his professional career.
Hours after being chosen interim manager of the Florida Marlins, Rodriguez guided the team to a 7-5 comeback win over the Baltimore on Wednesday night.
Florida made up a four-run deficit to earn its third straight victory. The previous two came under Fredi Gonzalez, who was fired Wednesday morning after 3 1/2 seasons on the job.
Rodriguez was summoned from Triple-A New Orleans to guide a team languishing in fourth place in the NL East. According to the Marlins and Rodriguez, he’s the first major league manager born in Puerto Rico.
And now he’s the first manager born in Puerto Rico to win a game.
“It’s very exciting. And it’s talked about,” Rodriguez said. “Every year in Puerto Rico, the press asks who is going to be the first manager from Puerto Rico, and I was hoping it would be me. It’s a great feeling. At least for the win.”
The move worked—barely.
“I wish my hit had made it through the outfield. We probably would have gotten one more,” Patterson said.
“It was a very good win, especially in a close game,” Rodriguez said. “Everything went well.”
The Orioles are 4-13 under interim manager Juan Samuel, who took over for fired Dave Trembley on June 4. In this one, Baltimore took a 4-0 lead in the second inning and quickly lost the advantage.
“They all hurt,” Samuel said. “After scoring those four runs we thought, ‘OK, we could add.’ But we’ve been in that situation before many times.”
Baltimore rookie Brian Matusz(notes) (2-8) retired 11 straight before walking Mike Stanton(notes) to open the seventh inning in a 4-4 game. One out later, Ronny Paulino(notes) and Coghlan hit successive RBI doubles.
Matusz, who allowed six runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, is 0-8 in his last 12 starts.
The Orioles batted around in the second inning, getting six hits and taking a 4-0 lead. Scott and Jones homered on successive pitches, and Patterson hit a two-run single.
“It’s real simple. I left the ball up,” Matusz said. “When your team scores four runs in the second for you, you want to go out and go 1-2-3 and keep the momentum our way. I just lost concentration and … with a lineup like that, they’ll take advantage of it.”
The rookie has given up nine home runs in his last seven starts after permitting only two in his first eight appearances.
“Like I’ve been saying, these are young guys and they’re learning up here,” Samuel said. “We’ve seen him make some pitches down and away. Unfortunately, he left those pitches up.”
NOTES: Tejada got two hits, but he hasn’t homered in a career-high 197 consecutive at-bats and has only one RBI in his last 99 ABs. … Jones had his fourth straight two-hit game. … Florida is 18-5 against the Orioles and 10-1 since 2000. … Cantu snapped a career-high 0-for-19 skid with a first-inning single.