Red Sox beat Tigers, advance to World Series
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.
With 21-game winner Max Scherzer on the mound, Detroit took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning 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.
Beards vs. fresh faces
Big Papi, Dustin Pedroia and the bearded guys from Boston. Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and those fresh mugs from St. Louis.
Pretty neat face-off in this World Series.
Cardinals-Red Sox, once again in October. Fully rested, they’ll open Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Postseason stars from past and present—Carlos Beltran, David Freese, John Lackey, David Ortiz and Adam Wainwright.
Juicy plotlines—can Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina shut down Jacoby Ellsbury and the runnin’ Red Sox? Can all-world closer Koji Uehara stop Matt Holliday and the Cardinals?
Plus, plenty of history—think Stan Musial vs. Ted Williams in 1946, Bob Gibson vs. Carl Yastrzemski in ‘67 or Pedro Martinez vs. Albert Pujols in 2004. Or, perhaps more memorably that last time, Curt Schilling and the bloody sock vs. The Curse.
The Red Sox and Cardinals are hardly arch enemies, however. They haven’t played since Kevin Youkilis homered over the Green Monster in the 13th inning on June 22, 2008.
This year, Boston and St. Louis bounced back from disappointments and tied for the most victories in the majors with 97. Not since the Braves and Yankees in 1999 have league win leaders met in the World Series (the Cardinals and Red Sox were the top-scoring teams in their leagues, too).
Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Boston’s scraggly band rose under first-year manager John Farrell, a season after the team hit bottom under Bobby Valentine with its most losses in nearly five decades.
Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams and St. Louis rebounded a year after wasting a 3-1 lead in the NL championship series against the Giants. Manager Mike Matheny got lots of help from a rookie-laden staff.
Wacha was the MVP of the NLCS and is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in the postseason. Rosenthal took over the closer role with a 100 mph fastball. Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez and others also made major contributions.
The Cardinals captured their 19th NL pennant by trouncing Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers on Friday night in Game 6 of the NLCS.
The Red Sox earned their 13th pennant Saturday night, riding Victorino’s go-ahead grand slam to a 5-2 victory over Detroit in Game 6 of the ALCS.