BOSTON -- The Tigers were on the verge of taking a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series in Boston before David Ortiz hit a grand slam off Joaquin Benoit. The Red Sox went on to beat the Tigers, 6-5, in Game 2 at Fenway Park last Saturday.
A week later, the Tigers had come back to take a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning at Fenway Park in Game 6. It looked like they might force a deciding Game 7, before Shane Victorino hit a grand slam off Jose Veras in the seventh inning.
The Red Sox went on to beat the Tigers, 5-2, late Saturday night and advance to the World Series.
"They hit a couple of timely, two or three really timely home runs," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "Big Papi and tonight Victorino."
Tigers catcher Alex Avila said the Victorino had a tough time against breaking balls during the series.
On an 0-2 count, Veras threw a breaking pitch hoping to get a strikeout. Victorino sent it high over the Green Monster instead.
"I told myself get a pitch I can handle," Victorino said. "Try to tie the game, at the minimal. Give ourselves -- get us back in the game and give us another chance.
"Fortunately I got a 0-2 curveball that I could handle and was able to hit a home run. It was a special moment. It's been a special year. We battled and good moments like this, you cherish it."
It was the second career postseason grand slam for Victorino. He hit one in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Brewers in 2008.
Victorino joined Jim Thome as the only players with at least two postseason grand slams. Thome hit grand slams in Game 6 of the 1998 ALCS vs. the Yankees and in Game 2 of the 1999 ALDS against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox are the first team with two game-tying or go-ahead grand slams in the seventh inning or later in a single postseason.
The Red Sox are the sixth team to hit multiple grand slams in a single postseason series and the first to do it in an ALCS.
Victorino said his first thought was that he hoped it would get enough air to tie the game.
"And then I thought this could get up over the wall," Victorino said. "All the emotions when through my mind.
"No disrespect, and I would never be one of those guys., if guys took it wrong, but I was definitely excited running around the bases, the pounding in my chest. I've been that kind of guy. I don't like when teams show that kind of emotion. And I hope they understand it was a special moment for me, for the city. And no disrespect, again, the guys across the way. We played the Tigers. I respect those guys like no other. The staff, everybody. It was a special moment. And like I said, no disrespect to them, but this was a battle to the end."
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