GM Ben Cherington takes blame for Red Sox's struggles

ATLANTA (AP) Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he deserves most of the blame with his club struggling for the second straight year.

Entering Wednesday, Boston is 99-129 since winning the 2013 World Series under manager John Farrell.

''I'm more responsible than anyone else for that,'' Cherington said, ''so I have to find a way to make that better.''

The Red Sox, in last place in the AL East for the second straight season, entered Wednesday 10 games under .500 and eight games behind division-leading Tampa Bay.

''The record is the record,'' Cherington said. ''The record is clearly not good enough for where we play. We all know that. My job is to try to dig into every reason for that.''

Cherington didn't take questions regarding Farrell's job security or poor player performance, focusing instead on his own job and the state of the franchise.

''When you are where we are, there's a lot of reasons for it,'' Cherington said. ''There's no single player that's responsible for that. The only person that's perhaps responsible for a longer list of reasons is me.''

''I will certainly make judgments on myself for the overall performance and the team's performance, and that's on me.''

Boston snapped a season-high, seven-game losing streak with a 9-4 win Tuesday over the Atlanta Braves. The skid was the Red Sox's longest since they dropped eight straight last Aug. 17-24.

Cherington made several big moves in the offseason, signing third baseman Pablo Sandoval and left fielder Hanley Ramirez to contracts totaling over $180 million. He believes both players have assimilated well with their new teammates.

''You can feel it when it's there,'' Cherington said. ''When you feel it when it's there, you know there's something to it.''

After losing out on trying to re-sign ace Jon Lester, Cherington sought to shore up the rotation by sending trading for right-hander Rick Porcello and left-hander Wade Miley and signing right-hander Justin Masterson.

The Red Sox's pitching staff has the second-worst ERA in the majors at 4.52. The starters have a combined 4.92 ERA, but Cherington didn't sound ready to make an immediate move for another arm.

''We're not considering anything else right now, but just getting better,'' he said. ''I'm not putting a date on it. We haven't considered anything other than that. I think we're closer to the group where there's a spot for everyone and a role for everyone.''

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AP freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.

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