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Victorino, Red Sox push on

The Maui product cracks a grand slam over the Green Monster to put Boston in the World Series

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:44 a.m. HST, Oct 20, 2013

BOSTON » The Boston Red Sox are going back to the World Series for the third time in 10 seasons.

Shane Victorino's seventh-inning grand slam propelled Boston to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night, clinching the AL Championship Series in six games and setting up a World Series rematch with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Red Sox will host Game 1 on Wednesday night against the team they swept in 2004 to end their 86-year title drought. The Cardinals won the NL pennant on Friday night by eliminating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.

"We've still got one more step," Victorino said.


Best of seven; x-if necessary

All games televised by KHON (Ch. 3)

St. Louis vs. Boston

» Wednesday: St. Louis at Boston, 2:07 p.m.

» Thursday: St. Louis at Boston, 2:07 p.m.

» Saturday: Boston at St. Louis, 2:07 p.m.

» Next Sunday: Boston at St. Louis, 2:15 p.m.

» x-Oct. 28: Boston at St. Louis, 2:07 p.m.

» x-Oct. 30: St. Louis at Boston, 2:07 p.m.

» x-Oct. 31: St. Louis at Boston, 2:07 p.m.

With 21-game winner Max Scherzer on the mound, Detroit took a 2-1 lead in the sixth and held it until Boston loaded the bases on a double, a walk and an error by shortstop Jose Iglesias. Victorino lofted an 0-2 pitch from Jose Veras over the Green Monster to set off a celebration in the Red Sox dugout and in the Fenway Park stands.

Junichi Tazawa got one out for the win, Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless eighth and Koji Uehara got the last three outs before the Red Sox poured out of the dugout to begin their now-familiar celebration on the mound.

"It's been a special ride," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said, "and we're still going."

Uehara was selected the series MVP after posting three saves and a win. Then he joked about pitching so well under pressure.

"To tell you the truth, I almost threw up," Uehara kidded through a translator.

It's the 13th AL pennant for the Red Sox and their first since 2007, when they swept the Colorado Rockies to win it all for the second time in four seasons. Boston swept the Cardinals in '04, winning Game 4 in St. Louis to clinch the title that put an end to generations of disappointment.

The latest trip comes one year after a last-place finish that forced the team to jettison its high-priced stars, rebuild the roster and bring in manager John Farrell. Victorino was one of the biggest additions, and he delivered on Saturday as he did for much of the season.

"Since the first day of spring training, there wasn't one person more important than the next," said outfielder Jonny Gomes, also a newcomer this season. "We're all pulling in the same direction."

Scherzer got one out in the seventh, but left after walking rookie Xander Bogaerts to put runners on first and second. Drew Smyly got Jacoby Ellsbury to hit a grounder up the middle, but it popped out of Iglesias' glove behind second base and everyone was safe.

Veras came in and got ahead of Victorino, who hails from Maui. But he hung a curveball and Victorino sent it toward the 37-foot left-field wall, which had already knocked down two Red Sox line drives.

This one left no doubt.

—Jimmy Golen / Associated Press

Young arms are key for the Cardinals in the World Series

ST. LOUIS » At the trade deadline in July, the Cardinals appeared to be in the market for starting pitching. Instead, St. Louis stood pat and trusted its young arms.

That trust paid off -- in a trip to the World Series.

Michael Wacha capped a nearly untouchable month by being selected the NL Championship Series MVP after outpitching Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the second time in a 9-0 win in Game 6 on Friday night.

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, a 19-game winner, said the 22-year-old rookie has been so good he wouldn't be surprised if Wacha was on the mound for Game 1 of the Fall Classic on Wednesday at Boston.

"I told them if we have enough time off they might try to get Michael back for Game 1," Wainwright said during the Cardinals' celebration Friday. "You never know."

Joe Kelly was the strongest member of the rotation for a long stretch in the summer and has been tough in the postseason, too. Closer Trevor Rosenthal hit 100 mph on the stadium radar in finishing off the Cardinals' 19th NL pennant. Carlos Martinez emerged as the setup man, 41st-round draft pick Kevin Siegrist had a lights-out 0.43 ERA and Seth Maness was one of the best at inducing the double-play ball.

—Associated Press

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Bdpapa wrote:
Terriffic, 2 players from Hawaii in the World Series!
on October 20,2013 | 04:17AM
1local wrote:
the red sox are the 'moneyball' team - see the movie. Victorino makes Hawaii proud.
on October 20,2013 | 06:27AM
tigerwarrior wrote:
The Red Sox are going to the World Series for the 3rd time in 10 years--and likewise the 3rd time since adopting the sabermetric model showcased in "Moneyball". Makes one wonder why all the other Major League Baseball teams--including the N.Y. Yankees and L.A. Dodgers--teams that top the MLB payroll list--don't likewise follow suit.
on October 20,2013 | 03:37PM
allie wrote:
Congrats to Victorino. He is a genuinely good guy. Very generous. "local" in the best sense.
on October 20,2013 | 07:42AM
mayihavesumor wrote:
I'm no RedSox fan but thanks to Victorino for one of the most memorable sports moments I've ever seen. Good interview, classy guy.
on October 20,2013 | 06:02AM
allie wrote:
agree..Maui Catholic School graduate
on October 20,2013 | 07:43AM
kiragirl wrote:
Mahalo for making Hawaii proud.
on October 20,2013 | 07:48AM
baseball_nerd wrote:
cards all the way. followed them since 81' ,our seventh world series appearance since then. we are way better than 2004, better pitching, and better defense to stop the running game. both teams play old school baseball and take very good at bats. most of the players are comfortable hitting deep in the count. i can't wait, avenge the sweep of 04'. papi will not see hittable pitches as napoli is no manny ramirez. go cards.
on October 20,2013 | 02:01PM