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 their American League Championship Series 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 ALCS 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 series after registering one win and three saves in Boston's turnaround triumph after finishing 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 tight pitchers' 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 for a 1-0 lead and the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
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.
It was the second grand slam for Boston in the series following an eighth-inning, bases-loaded roundtripper by David Ortiz in Game Two that erased a 5-1 deficit and helped the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory.
Uehara 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.
After the trophy presentation, Ortiz was asked about the prospects of facing the Cardinals in the World Series.
"Bring it," shouted Ortiz as the crowd roared in approval.
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