Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shane Victorino's Grand Slam Sends Boston to World Series with 5-2 Win over Tigers

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 19, 2013

American League

Shane Victorino socked an seventh-inning grand slam, turning a 2-1 Detroit lead into a 5-2 Boston win and a trip to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Red Sox won the AL championship, four games to two, winning game six in front of a full house - 38,823 fans - at fabled Fenway Park.

Shane Victorino
After an extended pitcher's duel between Detroit's Max Scherzer and Red Sox starter Clay Buckholz, Boston struck first, scoring the game's first run in the fifth, on a Jacoby Ellsbury single that brought home Xander Bogaerts.

The Tigers responded in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs. Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera both came home on a Victor Matinez single with none out, but Tiger first baseman Prince Fielder committed a base-running blunder, getting caught between third and home on the back end of a double play, impairing what could have been a huge inning.

Victorino's smash was also set up, in part, by the Tigers' failure to execute. After Johnny Gomes led off the seventh with a double, Scherzer struck out Stephen Drew, but walked Bogaerts with one out and was replaced by reliever, Drew Smyly.

Ellsbury reached first to load the bases when Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias couldn't handle his ground ball, prompting manager Jim Leyland to go to the bullpen again, this time for Jose Veras.

Leyland, who could be criticized for making too many pitching changes in this series, didn't get the result he sought, as Victorino, the first hitter Veras faced, hammered one over the green monster in left, all but sealing the deal.

Detroit could not recover, Craig Breslow set the Tigers down in order in the eighth and Koji Uehara picked up his third save of the series, allowing one hit and fanning two in the ninth.

The World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals will be the fourth time the two teams have met. In 1946, St., Louis won, four games to three, and won again by the same margin in 1967. In 2004, the Red Sox ended nearly a century of frustration, winning the World Series, 4-0, over the Cardinals, their first championship since 1918.

The fall classic gets underway on Wednesday night in Boston.

Today's Trivia: Boston won their second World Series of the 21st century in 2007. Who did they beat? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Bobby Richardson drove in 12 runs - an all-time record - in the 1960 World Series.

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