Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora doesn't attribute his pitching staff's recent struggles to Major League Baseball's looming crackdown on sticky substances being applied to baseballs.

"I don't believe so. Obviously the take will be out there," Cora said, according to Bill Koch of the Providence Journal. "I don't think struggling has to do with stuff. Those guys are really good, too."

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Red Sox starting pitchers have allowed 40 earned runs over their last 39 innings. The Toronto Blue Jays outscored the Red Sox 31-12 over the first three games of their series, including an 18-4 drubbing on Sunday afternoon.

Starting pitcher Martin Perez allowed five earned runs on six hits (three home runs) and one walk in 1 1/3 innings on Sunday. He echoed Cora's sentiment.

"I'm not a cheating pitcher," Perez said, according to Christopher Smith of MassLive.