Rafael Devers ripped two homers including the go-ahead two-run blast in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, lifting the Red Sox over the Nationals to clinch the top wild card slot in the American League.
Devers finished the game 4-for-5 with two homers, four RBIs, and three runs. He singled and scored in the seventh on Alex Verdugo’s game-tying two-run double, which set the table for perhaps the biggest hit of Devers’s career in the top of the ninth.
The Red Sox will now face the Yankees on Tuesday in the AL wild card game. Thanks to their victory on Sunday, the game will take place at Fenway Park, since the Red Sox won the season series. The Yankees beat the Rays with a walk-off single by Aaron Judge on Sunday, eliminating the Blue Jays and Mariners from wild card contention.
Entering the day, a number of wild card scenarios were still in play including play-in games. Instead, the Yankees and Red Sox took care of business, setting up a dramatic rivalry game for the opportunity to take on the Rays.
The Red Sox used seven pitchers, including two starters — Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta — to close the game. Chris Sale struggled, giving up four hits and two earned runs in 2.1 innings of work. Cora pulled him in the third inning after Sale walked in a run, and Hirokazu Sawamura coaxed a double play to end the threat.
The Nationals posted three runs in the fifth to take a nerve-wracking 5-1 lead, but the Red Sox bounced back and punched their ticket to the postseason.
The Red Sox and Yankees both finished the season 92-70.
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