BOSTON » Shane Victorino spread his arms wide like an airplane and took off from right field, tossing his glove high in the air as he approached the dogpile in the infield.
The Saint Anthony graduate arrived right on time.
Hitless in his first 10 World Series at-bats before missing two games with a bad back, Victorino hit a three-run double to break a scoreless tie in Game 6 on Wednesday night and send the Boston Red Sox to a championship-clinching 6-1 victory over St. Louis.
"My parents always told (me), ‘Take every moment. Live every moment. Love every moment. I just went up there and said, ‘Hey, I’m getting another moment,"’ Victorino said after the Red Sox claimed their third title in 10 years. "I missed two games. It’s time to shine, do what you can. I was able to get in a good hitter’s count, put a ball off the wall, enjoy every moment of it."
Victorino also added an RBI single with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to give Boston a 6-0 lead. Victorino, who also reached the playoffs with Philadelphia each year from 2007-11, is now 6-for-8 with a major league record 20 RBIs with the bases loaded in his postseason career.
"Well, Shane Victorino has got a little bit of flair for the dramatic," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "The hits that he did record in the postseason couldn’t have been bigger and couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Whether it was in Game 6 against the Tigers or the three-run (double) here tonight."
Victorino earned a Gold Glove in right field while batting .294 with 21 stolen bases in the regular season. He hit .429 against Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, but he was 2-for-24 in the AL Championship Series before hitting a grand slam to deliver the pennant to Boston.
He fell back into a slump in the Series.
Once again, he broke out of it in timely fashion.
"Our goal from Day 1 was to be the best team we could possibly be," Victorino said. "Hey, we’re world champs. Can’t believe it."
Victorino sat out Game 4 and 5 in St. Louis because of tightness in his back, though Farrell said he could have pinch hit on Monday when the Red Sox won to take a 3-2 lead. Instead, he came back when the Series returned to Boston.
"We knew somebody was going to do it. That’s how we are," Napoli said. "He missed some games, was banged up, but he came through. He got some big hits for us and we wouldn’t be here without him."