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.
"Obviously, you want to finish it and you want to you want to make all the outs that your outing requires," Richards said, per an Associated Press report. "So, yeah, it was a little frustrating."
Ending the inning early worked as Richards came back out to retire the side in order in the second inning. Boston still fell to the Atlanta Braves, 5-3, committing four errors in the process.