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BOSTON (CBS) — For the 12th time in franchise history, the Boston Red Sox are heading to the World Series.
The Red Sox punched their ticket to the Fall Classic with a 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Watch: Red Sox Celebrate
Shane Victorino hit a grand slam with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Red Sox a 5-2 lead. Victorino was hitting .087 in the series prior to the at-bat, and he fell behind in the count 0-2 to Jose Veras. But Veras threw a curveball for the third straight pitch, and that was a mistake, as Victorino crushed it over the Green Monster for the game-changing hit.
The situation presented itself after Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, known as perhaps the best defensive shortstop in baseball, bobbled a potential double play ball behind the second base bag with one out in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury reached via error, and with Jonny Gomes on third after a double and Xander Bogaerts on second after his walk, Victorino delivered the grand slam.
The Red Sox will face the Cardinals, who earned their trip to the World Series with a 9-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS on Friday night.
Game 1 will be Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox are American League champions for the 13th time in franchise history. Most recently, they won the AL in 2004 and 2007, going on to sweep the World Series in both seasons. Boston beat St. Louis in 2004, winning Games 1 and 2 at Fenway Park and Games 3 and 4 at Busch Stadium.
The Red Sox and Cardinals finished this season tied for the best record in baseball at 97-65. The Red Sox defeated the Rays in four games in the ALDS before beating the Tigers in the ALCS, while the Cardinals needed five games to defeat the Pirates in the divisional round before taking on the Dodgers.
Saturday night’s victory kicked off the third major celebration this season for the Red Sox. They celebrated with the home crowd on Sept. 20, when they clinched the AL East and finished their climb from worst to first in the span of just one year. They celebrated again when they won Game 4 of the ALDS in Tampa, avoiding a trip back home for a must-win Game 5.
The Red Sox’ situation looked somewhat dire on Saturday night, with multiple squandered opportunities passing by the boards. Yet with one swing in the seventh inning, Shane Victorino changed everything, and the Red Sox are now heading to the World Series.