Boston’s ‘pen squanders big lead: ‘Very tough to watch’

BOSTON — This season isn’t yet two months old. However, the Red Sox bullpen has already endured many low points.

None of the previous mishaps can match what took place Friday night at Fenway Park.

After starting pitcher Garrett Whitlock (career high of six innings, two runs) and the red-hot offense set the team up for what seemed like a sure victory, the bullpen couldn’t hang on.

Leading by six after six, Boston’s relief crew gave up three in the seventh, three in the eighth and yet four more in the ninth for a crushing 12-8 defeat to the Orioles. It was the first time since Sept. 6 that the Red Sox relinquished a lead of six runs or more.

“Very tough,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “We were very short bullpen-wise. We had an 8-2 lead and some guys we trust [didn’t come through]. They hit the ball out of the ballpark twice and put together good at-bats. They were very relentless in that aspect. It was very tough to watch, but we’ve got to turn the page.”

It is a page that must be turned almost instantly. The Red Sox and Orioles have a split doubleheader on Saturday, with the festivities scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. ET.

“Every loss is tough. One like tonight, it stings,” said Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. “Especially with the weekend we have ahead, five games in four days. Obviously, it…

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