Last-place Red Sox fire pitching coach Juan Nieves

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BOSTON — The last-place Boston Red Sox have fired pitching coach Juan Nieves.

The move came Thursday after Justin Masterson walked six batters in 4 1/3 innings in Wednesday night’s 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay, Boston’s fifth in six games.

The rotation has struggled all year with three offseason acquisitions — Masterson, Rick Porcello and Wade Miley.

Holdovers Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly also have pitched poorly. Nieves was hired in November 2012 as a major league coach for the first time and guided the staff that helped Boston win the World Series in 2013.

But Boston finished in last place in the AL East last season. The Red Sox have a 4.86 ERA and its starters are at 5.54. Both are the worst in the AL and next to last in the majors, trailing only Colorado, according to STATS. The team did not name a replacement.