The Red Sox fell to the Braves today 5-3, after sloppy defensive play where the Red Sox made 4 errors, which could have been a lot more, if it wasn’t for some amazing plays after bobbling the ball, and some borderline errors that were called hits.

Garrett Richards started the day for the Red Sox, allowing 3 walks, 2 hits and 2 runs in his 1st inning. Richards threw 23 pitches, loading the bases and walking in one run in his first start of spring training before manager Alex Cora called the inning, invoking a mercy rule that allows a manager to end the frame after 20 pitches without factoring in the outs or runners on base.

He then put the Braves down in order in the 2nd inning though, and that would be all for Richards.

“I got a little mechanical,” Richards said. “Wasn’t really staying as aggressive as I did the second inning. As far as the first outing goes, I feel good and healthy. Some good stuff came from today as well. It’s just building to the end of it and putting a product together.

“I just needed to stay a little bit more in competitive mode vs. mechanical mode,” Richards added. “Once that switch flipped, everything felt great again.”

Connor Seabold and Thad Ward were both very impressive in their lone innings of work. RHP Zac Grotz was taken out midway through the 7th as well, with what was supposedly an injury. Tests did not reveal he had an injury though.

“He got tested after the game, and he felt okay. He felt it on one pitch, it was actually his elbow. As of right now, after the game, he felt no pain after he got tested,” Cora said post game.

While it wasn’t that notable of a game for the Red Sox offensively, Nick Yorke, who was drafted by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2020 draft, was playing high school baseball less than a year ago. Today, he got a hit off of one of the best relievers in baseball, AJ Minter.

“That was the highlight of the day, having that kid play,” Cora said. “It’s funny because I told him before the game, ‘Hey, you’re playing second base.’ He’s like, ‘Ok, cool.’ I asked him, ‘Are you nervous?’ He’s like, ‘Nope.’ I said, ‘Ok, good for you.’ I was probably more nervous for him, so that’s a good sign.”

Cora also added that a few players are dealing with a stomach bug, but all tested negative for COVID-19. Additionally, newly acquired Franchy Cordero flew in to Fort Meyers today, and will join the team in the next coming days.

Marcus Walden, who was designated for assignment to make room for Marwin Gonzalez not too long ago on Thursday, passed waivers and was outrighted to AAA Worcester as he’ll remain in the organization.

Martin Perez will start tomorrow’s game against the Rays, which will be on ESPN at 1PM. Garrett Whitlock, Joel Payamps, Ryan Weber, Josh Winckowski and Andrew Politi are scheduled to pitch after that tomorrow, as the Red Sox will look for their first win of Spring Training on National Television.

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