The Boston Red Sox had to get creative with their bullpen if they were going to survive a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The issue is, finding the balance between being creative and being reckless is easier said than done.

The Red Sox entered their Saturday doubleheader with three bullpen arms who hadn’t pitched in their series-ending win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday: Ryan Sherrif, Joely Rodríguez and Kutter Crawford. That would have been a solid little group to use, but Garrett Whitlock only went 4 2/3 in the afternoon win, Crawford was forced to start the nightcap and Rodríguez found himself banged up once again, which forced Boston manager Alex Cora into filling up 10 1/3 innings with just one rested bullpen arm.

“There were a lot of guys down,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It’s one of those — you do the math and we had only a handful of pitchers. We almost pulled it out. … (Crawford’s) velocity was great. I know I said more than four (innings) but you’ve got to take care of him. It’s more about him, he pitched two days ago and obviously is coming off the IL, so you’ve got to take care of him. He did a great job and gave us a chance to win.”

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The Red Sox got solid work from the pen, despite entering with about as many restrictions as a Major League team can put on themselves.

“Sherrif and (Brennan) Bernardino were amazing. (Justin) Garza too” Cora said postgame. “It is what it is. Kutter did a great job and we had a chance in the ninth inning.”

Here are some more notes from Red Sox-Rays on Saturday:

— Kenley Jansen pitched in both games for Boston, locking down the save in the Red Sox’s afternoon win and blowing a hold and earning a loss in their loss to cap off the night. It was the first time in Jansen’s career where he earned a decision and a save in a doubleheader, having pitched in two with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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“It sucks, but I thought I threw the ball well,” Jansen said postgame. “Honestly, I felt great.”

— Brennan Bernardino was superb in his return to the Red Sox. The 27th man on Saturday pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four batters and giving up a pair of singles.

Cora mentioned that he could stay with the team should Rodríguez wind up needing another stint on the injured list.

— The Red Sox and Rays will continue with the third of their four-game series by taking part in a matinee at Fenway Park on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1:35 p.m. ET, following an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images