Most thought the game would be over when Nationals slugger Juan Soto came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday afternoon with the bases loaded and one out, facing Red Sox reliever Austin Davis.

But, Soto only salvaged a sacrifice fly, and Brasier retired Josh Bell on an inning-ending soft lineout to shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

The chance came after Boston and Rafael Devers failed to cash in on their own bases-loaded chance the half-inning before, and Adam Ottavino loaded the bases after a double and a pair of walks.

The Sox’s bats then came alive in the ninth, as Christian Vazquez tripled home J.D. Martinez before Travis Shaw singled home Vazquez. Kiké Hernandez proceeded to put it out of reach as he socked a two-run homer over the left-center field wall to make it a four-run affair.

Washington made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, as Andrew Stevenson’s two-run homer off Hansel Robles made it 5-3. But that would be all, as the Sox move to 91-70 on the season.

Rafael Devers puts Sox on the board

Rafael Devers had Boston’s only run for the first eight innings, as he clobbered a solo big fly in the fourth.

Tanner Houck’s masterpiece

Tanner Houck went five perfect innings, striking out eight in the biggest start of his career.

Ryan Brasier’s clutch strikeout

After successfully retiring the first two Nats hitters in the seventh, Ryan Brasier wouldn’t see the same success for the next three hitters. Josh Bell singled, before Keibert Ruiz walked — Andrew Stevenson’s single loaded the bases.

But, on a payoff pitch, Brasier struck out Jordy Mercer to retire the side — the righty pounded his chest in one of the biggest outings of his career.

AL Wild Card race

Jeff Passan’s ridicoulosly long thread pretty much sums it all up.

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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