Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (18) celebrates after hitting a grand slam against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning in game six of the American League Championship Series playoff baseball game at Fenway Park. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
BOSTON (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - The Tigers capitalized with the bases loaded in the sixth, taking a 2-1 lead.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the seventh and delivered the knockout blow to end the Tigers' season.
Shane Victorino hit a grand slam off Jose Veras over the Green Monster.
That turned a one-run deficit for the Red Sox into a 5-2 lead.
The Tigers went on to lose, 5-2, to the Red Sox in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
The Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals will play in the World Series. Jonny Gomes led off the seventh with a double off the left field wall. Max Scherzer got Stephen Drew to strike out on a 94 m.p.h. fastball, but gave up a walk to rookie Xander Bogaerts.
Drew Smyly was brought in to pitch to Jacoby Ellsbury. A fielding error by shortstop Jose Iglesias on a ground ball by Ellsbury loaded the bases.
Veras was brought in to pitch to Victorino.
Scherzer allowed four hits, five walks, three runs (two earned) over 6 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts.
Scherzer had escaped a major jam in the bottom of sixth inning.
Scherzer hit Victorino with a pitch, then gave up a walk to Pedroia. Pitching coach Jeff Jones came out to talk to Scherzer with David Ortiz due up.
Smyly had been warming up, but Leyland left Scherzer in to pitch to Ortiz.
Don Kelly, who had entered as a pinch-runner for Jhonny Peralta in the top of the sixth, caught a fly ball hit to left by Ortiz.
On a 1-1 count against Mike Napoli, Scherzer threw a wild pitch, moving the runners to second and third with one out.
Napoli struck out swinging at a changeup and Jarrod Saltalamacchia popped out to short.
The Tigers had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth. Torii Hunter led off with a walk and Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to left. That ended the night for Red Sox starter Clay Buchholtz.
Lefty Franklin Morales was brought in to pitch to Prince Fielder, but threw four straight balls to load the bases with none out.
Morales stayed in to pitch to Victor Martinez. On a 2-1 count, Martinez hit a ball off the Green Monster for a two-run single.
Righty Brandon Workman came in to pitch to Jhonny Peralta. Peralta hit a grounder to second. Pedroia tagged Martinez, then threw home and caught Prince Fielder halfway home. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was able to tag Fielder, who fell down short of third base, for the double play. Alex Avila was called out on strikes.
Buchholz allowed four hits, two walks and two earned runs over five-plus innings with four strikeouts for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox had just taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Bogaerts doubled off the wall in left-center. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a line drive RBI single to right, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers had a baserunner in four of the first five innings, but had no runs to show for it.
Austin Jackson reached on a one-out walk in the fifth, before Jose Iglesias grounded into a double play.
Scherzer gave up back-to-back walks on close pitches with full counts to start the third inning.
Rookie Xander Bogaerts fell behind 0-2 before working it back to a full count and getting the walk. After Scherzer gave up a walk to Ellsbury, Jones came out for a visit. Scherzer was able to catch a pop up on a bunt attempt by Victorino.
Then Scherzer hung a slider on the first pitch to Pedroia, who came inches away from hitting a three-run home run. The ball just went foul to the left of the left field foul pole.
While it was clearly a foul ball, Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to discuss it with the umpires. They reviewed it before determining the correct call was made.
Pedroia instead grounded into a double play to third base.
Scherzer struck out the side in the second innings. Saltalamacchia swung and missed at a 94 m.p.h. fastball. Gomes missed swinging at an slider and Drew missed swinging at a changeup.
Buchholz, one of the slowest pitchers in the game, threw 22 pitches in a nearly 17-minute top of the first inning that saw one baserunner.
Alex Avila, who suffered a left patellar tendon strain and took a foul tip off his mask in Game 5, played for the Tigers in Game 6. Avila was hit twice by foul balls in the first four innings of Game 6 but stayed in to catch the whole game.
Contact George Sipple: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @georgesipple.