BOSTON -- With one swing of his bat, Shane Victorino made history and put the Boston Red Sox into the World Series.
The right fielder's grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Boston Red Sox a 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox move on to the World Series for the first time since 2007 and will meet the St. Louis Cardinals. The series will begin Wednesday night at Fenway with the likely starting pitchers being Jon Lester for Boston against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
The Red Sox and Cardinals tied for the major league lead in victories in the regular season as both went 97-65.
Boston continues its amazing turnaround season a year after finishing last in the AL East with a 69-93 record under manager Bobby Valentine. With a new manager in John Farrell, the Red Sox won 28 more games, the AL East title and now the AL pennant.
Victorino became just the second player in major league history to hit two postseason grand slams, joining Jim Thome. Victorino also belted one in Game 2 of the 2008 National League Division Series while playing for the Phillies, connecting against the Milwaukee Brewers' Yovani Gallardo at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Red Sox went into the seventh inning down 2-1.
Johnny Gomes led off with a double and rookie Xander Bogaerts drew a one-out walk. Drew Smyly relieved starter Max Scherzer and Jacoby Ellsbury reached on rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias' fielding error, loading the bases.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland then brought in Joe Veras and Victorino blasted an 0-2 pitch over the Green Monster in left field to give the Red Sox a three-run lead.
Detroit had gone ahead 2-1 in the sixth on Victor Martinez's two-run single.
The Red Sox broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a run off Scherzer. Bogaerts doubled high of the wall in left-center field and scored on Ellsbury's line single to right.
The Red Sox, for a fleeting moment, thought they had pulled ahead 3-0 in the third inning when Dustin Pedroia hit a drive down the left-field line with runners on the corners that just hooked foul. The call was upheld by video review and Pedroia then grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Scherzer took the loss as he allowed three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in 6 1/3 innings with five walks and eight strikeouts.
Junichi Tazawa, who retired the only batter he faced, was credited with the win. Koji Uehara got the save with a scoreless ninth inning and has not allowed a run in eight innings this postseason.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz did not factor in the decision a she pitched five-plus innings and yielded two runs and four hits while walking two and striking out four.
Austin Jackson and Iglesias, the bottom two hitters in the Tigers' batting order, had two hits apiece.
NOTES: Detroit C Alex Avila was back in the lineup after suffering a strained patella tendon in his left knee in Game 5 on Thursday night. He was forced out of that game in the fourth inning. ...Bogaerts started at third base for the second straight game in place of 3B Will Middlebrooks. In Game 5, the 21-year-old Bogaerts became the youngest player to start a postseason game for the Red Sox since Babe Ruth in the 1916 World Series. ... Four of the first five games of the series were decided by one run, tying the ALCS record set in 1997 between the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles. ... Tigers RHP Al Alburquerque pitched in each of the first five games of the series, a record for most appearances in a postseason series by a Detroit pitcher. ... Ellsbury entered Saturday with six stolen bases in the postseason and Red Sox had 11 as a team. Both are club records.
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