News

Boston beats Tigers, heads to World Series

Boston beats Tigers, heads to World Series

WORLD SERIES: The Boston Red Sox are World Series bound. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Shane Victorino belted a seventh-inning grand slam to put the Boston Red Sox into the World Series with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Detroit Tigers that clinched the American League Championship on Saturday.

Victorino’s blast turned a 2-1 deficit into a three-run lead and sent the Fenway faithful into a frenzy as the Hawaiian thumped his chest and roared in delight while rounding the bases.

The Red Sox, who won the best-of-seven series 4-2, will meet National League champions St. Louis for Major League Baseball’s championship starting on Wednesday in Boston.

The showdown will be a rematch of the 2004 Fall Classic, won by Boston in a four-game sweep that ended their 86-year championship drought.

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was named Most Valuable Player of the series after registering one win and three saves in Boston’s turnaround triumph. The Red Sox had finished last in the AL East in 2012 with a 69-93 record.

“From day one in spring training there was something special about this team,” said Victorino, one of several players brought in to change the team chemistry.

“Guys came here in one mindset. I know the last couple of years have been tough here. But you know, we put that all behind us. Boston strong.”

A tense pitching duel between Boston’s Clay Buchholz and Detroit’s Max Scherzer turned into a see-saw struggle as the Red Sox scored in the fifth to take a 1-0 lead, only for the Tigers to take it right back in the sixth, moving 2-1 ahead.

The seventh belonged to Boston as Victorino, who had been a dismal 2-for-23 at the plate in the series, connected off reliever Jose Veras’s third successive curve ball for the game-winning hit over the fence in left.

It was the second grand slam for Boston in the series following an eighth-inning roundtripper by David Ortiz in Game Two that erased a 5-1 deficit and helped the Red Sox win 6-5.

Uehara, who pitched seven scoreless innings in relief and struck out 11 in the series, registered the final out with a strikeout of Jose Iglesias and jumped into the arms of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as the celebrations began in Boston.

WHAT IF?

The Tigers were left to wonder ‘what if?’, as they squandered an opportunity to score more runs in the sixth and opened the door to Boston’s winning rally in the seventh.

After Victor Martinez drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single off the ‘Green Monster’ wall in left, Detroit still had men on first and third with none out but suffered a baserunning blunder by Prince Fielder.

Boston reliever Brandon Workman replaced Franklin Morales and got Jhonny Peralta to bounce to second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia tagged Martinez out, and with Fielder caught in no-man’s land between home and third, fired home in time for catcher Saltalamacchia to chase Fielder back toward third and tag him out.

In the seventh, Boston’s Jonny Gomes led off with a laser drive off the top of the Green Monster that went for a double. Scherzer then walked Xander Bogaerts to put men on first and second, and was removed from the game.

Jacoby Ellsbury then hit a grounder up the middle that shortstop Iglesias reached but bobbled for an error that loaded the bases and set the stage for Victorino.

“We made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on them,” said Tigers’ rightfielder Torii Hunter, a 17-year veteran who has still to reach his first World Series.

“Victorino got the big hit, the grand slam, and we couldn’t do anything about it. They played well.”

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Entertainment, Sports

You can stream the Super Bowl

superbowl50helmets

This year, CBS will broadcast the game on TV and stream it live on cbssports.com. The network will play the same commercials on TV and on the live stream.

18 hours ago in Sports

Hola: Texans-Raiders in Mexico City on Nov. 21

aztecastadium

It is the first Monday night game to be played abroad. It will be televised live on ESPN in the United States, and on Televisa and ESPN in Mexico. Televisa owns Azteca Stadium, which has a capacity of about 95,000.

18 hours ago in Sports

Thomas’ mom to watch from the stands, not the cell this time

broncosthomas

The last time the Denver Broncos played in the Super Bowl, Katina Smith and her mother wore jerseys that they had crafted from strips of tape as they watched the game on their prison TV

22 hours ago in Sports

The weekend sports schedule

superbowlball

Here’s a look at some of this weekend’s major sporting events.

22 hours ago in Sports

The week’s best sports shots

Mark Macaspac leaps off the Super Bowl 50 sign inside Super Bowl City Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in San Francisco. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A look at some of the biggest moments and best plays in sports this week.

Bellingham Traffic