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Red Sox Fire Pitching Coach McClure

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The Boston Red Sox fired first-year pitching coach Bob McClure and replaced him with Randy Niemann, Monday.

Boston is ranked 23rd in baseball in team ERA at 4.30.

"This was a performance-based decision," general manager Ben Cherington said on a conference call. "As I said yesterday and as I think Bobby has said, I think there's been a real good effort on the part of the staff to work together and iron out any communication issues that may have existed previously. We simply felt like we needed to make a change to put our pitchers in the best position to do what they needed to do the next six weeks.

"We feel like the next six weeks are important, no matter what our record ends up, and there are things we need to accomplish the next six weeks to create a foundation going into the offseason. We felt like this change was needed to give ourselves the best chance to do that."

The 60-year-old McClure was originally hired by the Red Sox in November 2011 as a special assistant for the organization, but was named pitching coach a month later. He served as the Kansas Royals pitching coach from 2006-11.

Niemann is now Boston’s fourth pitching coach since 2010. He had been the Sox assistant pitching coach this season. Niemann spent the previous 24 seasons with the New York Mets, and worked with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine from 1997-02.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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