BOSTON: Shane Victorino clubbed a grand slam in the seventh inning to lift Boston to a 5-2 victory over Detroit, sending the Red Sox to their first World Series since 2007.
Boston, which also reached the World Series in 2004, will face the St. Louis Cardinals beginning on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) at Fenway Park.
“I can’t sum it up,” said Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. “To be able to make history and go to World Series with the Boston Red Sox is pretty special.”
The defending American League champion Tigers didn’t put up much of a fight over the last two innings in front of a crowd of 38,823 Saturday at Fenway Park.
Boston reliever Craig Breslow tossed a 1-2-3 eighth and then Japanese dynamo Koji Uehara iced the victory in the ninth by striking out Tigers Jose Iglesias for his third save of the series and fifth of the playoffs.
Boston was down a run heading into the seventh with Detroit ace Max Scherzer on the mound. Scherzer was considered the best pitcher in the American League this year.
With two men on base and one out in the inning Scherzer gave way to Detroit’s bullpen pitchers and that is when the game started to go south for the Tigers.
Gomes opened the inning with a double that almost cleared the top of the towering left-field Green Monster wall and then Xander Bogaerts walked.
Pitcher Drew Smyly relieved Scherzer and got Jacoby Ellsbury to hit into a possible double-play. But Tiger shortstop Iglesias couldn’t handle the grounder up the middle and his error loaded the bases.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland then brought in reliever Jose Veras, who gave up the grand slam to Victorino.