Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Biggest 180s: Shane Victorino grand slam swings Game 6 of 2013 ALCS

Scott McLaughlin
October 22, 2018 - 1:59 pm

I guess we’re just in the mood for postseason grand slams. Our last entry in the Biggest 180s in Sports History series took a look at David Ortiz’s grand slam in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS. Then in Game 3 of this year’s ALCS, Jackie Bradley Jr. launched a grand slam that helped give the Red Sox a 2-1 series lead over the Astros.

Now we’ll go back to the 2013 ALCS once again. Going into the seventh inning of Game 6, the Tigers held a narrow 2-1 lead and were trying to close out a victory that would force a decisive Game 7. Detroit starter Max Scherzer had been cruising, and was back out for the seventh.

But a leadoff double by Jonny Gomes and a walk by Xander Bogaerts two batters later knocked Scherzer out of the game. Jacoby Ellsbury then reached on an error and lefty specialist Drew Smyly was replaced after one batter by Jose Veras. Welcome to a bases-loaded situation. No pressure.

Shane Victorino, usually a switch-hitter, stepped up to the plate as a righty against the righty, a change he had been forced to make mid-season due to a persistent hamstring issue.

He fell behind 0-2, but then Veras hung a breaking ball and Victorino made him pay, smashing a grand slam into the Monster seats to give the Red Sox a 5-2 lead. Boston held on to close out the series and then went on to beat the Cardinals in the World Series, capturing the franchise’s third title in 10 years.


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