- Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2011

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said he won’t make a scapegoat of skipper Terry Francona after the team’s unprecedented September collapse.

Epstein said at Fenway Park that everyone will be evaluated this offseason, including the manager and GM. But he said “nobody blames” the team’s 7-20 in the final month on Francona.

The Red Sox led the AL wild-card race by nine games on the morning of Sept. 4. But they failed to win consecutive games all month, and they headed into the final night of the season tied with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox blew a 3-2 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and lost 4-3 to Baltimore. Minutes later, the Rays beat the New York Yankees to clinch the playoff berth.

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