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Victorino's joyous trip around the bases

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 20, 2013 02:15 AM

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John Tlumacki / Globe Staff

Shane Victorino was so happy that he apologized.

When Jose Veras hung a curveball and Victorino lined it over the wall and into the history books for a pennant-winning grand slam in the seventh inning, his journey around the bases was an ode to joy.

Victorino watched the ball soar into the seats and raised his arms before leaping in the air. Then he pointed at first base coach Arnie Beyeler before smacking his own chest so hard it's a wonder he didn't leave a bruise.

By the time he arrived at the plate, Victorino hopped into the arms of teammate Jacoby Ellsbury. He pointed into the stands at his family and thumped his chest five more times before he reached the dugout.

"All the emotions went through my mind," said Victorino, who was 2 for 23 in the series before his blast. "No disrespect and I would never be one of those guys if [the Tigers] took it wrong. It was definitely excited running around the bases, the pounding in my chest. 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."

Clay Buchholz, in the clubhouse icing his arm, jumped up and ran back to the dugout. General manager Ben Cherington was in his office, too anxious to watch the game from his usual box. John Farrell pounded bench coach Torey Lovullo on the back.

The Sox had six outs still to get. But Craig Breslow and Koji Uehera did not fail.

"I'm never going to forget watching that," Daniel Nava said. "Vic was delirious. I think we all were."

Please read the Globe of BostonGlobe.com for full coverage. But a few notes and observations:

• When the Red Sox turned that unusual double play in the sixth inning, Dustin Pedroia threw the ball so close to Brandon Workman that the pitcher had to duck out of the way.

"I thought Pedey was going to drill me in the chest," said Workman, whose 1.2 innings of shutout relief were crucial. "I hit the deck. I thought he was going to get a regular double play and then he went to the plate."

• Xander Bogaerts was 2 for 4 with two doubles, three walks and three runs scored in the last two games. His double in the fifth inning off Max Scherzer was one of the hardest-hit balls at Fenway this season, slamming high off the wall in center field.

"That [bleeping] kid is [bleeping] unbelievable. You see that?" David Ortiz said.

Said Craig Breslow: "It seems like he's just unflappable. No stage is too big. No lights are too bright."

Bogaerts is going to be starting for the Red Sox for years to come. This is only the beginning for a player who looks very special. The Sox were trying to break him in slowly but that's over with now.

• The Sox scored 19 runs in the series and the Tigers 18. But outside of their stellar starting pitching, it was a poor performance by Detroit. Miguel Cabrera was 6 of 22 with one extra-base hit. Prince Fielder was 4 of 22 without an RBI.

The Tigers ran the bases poorly, made several key defensive mistakes and their bullpen was atrocious, giving up nine runs.

• Red Sox relievers pitched 21 innings in the ALCS and allowed one run on 16 hits with nine walks and 16 strikeouts. For the postseason, they have allowed three runs over 32 innings. MVP Koji Uehara threw six scoreless innings. He had three saves and a win.

• The Sox, counting the postseason, are 57-29 at Fenway. Home field advantage couldbe crucial in the Series.

• The Sox struck out 73 times in the series, the most ever by a team in a postseason series. The old record was 70 by the Diamondbacks in the seven-game 2001 World Series against the Yankees.

• Victorino’s grand slam was his second in the postseason. He joined Jim Thome as the only players to accomplish that.

• The Sox are 6-0 in sixth games of the ALCS, 3-0 at home.

• With St. Louis clinching on Friday, it was big for the Sox to wrap up their series in six games, too. Now this gives them three days to rest up and get their pitching in order. They leaned heavily on Uehera, Breslow and Junichi Tazawa in the LCS.

• Wonder if Matt Thornton will replace Franklin Morales on the roster?

• Game 1 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals will be Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The Sox will workout at Fenway on Monday and Tuesday and we'll have full coverage.

As always, thanks for reading.

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