BOSTON (AP) - Shane Victorino snapped out of another postseason slump at the perfect time.
The Red Sox right-fielder was hitless in his first 10 at-bats against the Cardinals before sitting out a pair of games when his back tightened up on him. Returning to the lineup for Game 6 on Wednesday night, Victorino hit a three-run double in the third inning to break a scoreless tie and send the Red Sox on their way to a championship-clinching 6-1 victory over St. Louis.
Victorino also added an RBI single with the bases loaded in the fourth inning that gave Boston a 6-0 lead. Victorino, who also reached the playoffs with Philadelphia each year from 2007-11, is now 6 for 8 with a major league record 20 RBIs with the bases loaded in his postseason career.
Victorino was part of a bargain-hunting binge _ at least compared to the Red Sox shopping sprees of the past _ that helped remake the team last winter after its worst season in nearly 50 years. Thanks to the more than $250 million dumped on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford deal, the Red Sox added Victorino along with Mike Napoli, David Ross, Jonny Gomes, Koji Uehara and Ryan Dempster.
Victorino, nicknamed “The Flyin’ Hawaiian,” earned a Gold Glove in right field while batting .294 with 21 stolen bases in the regular season. He hit .429 against Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, but he was 2 for 24 in the AL championship series before hitting a grand slam to deliver the pennant to Boston.
He fell back into a slump in the Series.
Once again, he broke out of it in timely fashion.
Dropped to sixth in the batting order, Victorino came up with the bases loaded and the score tied 0-0 in the third inning, serenaded by the now-familiar Bob Marley chorus, “Don’t worry about a thing, `Cause every little thing is gonna be all right.” He banged one off the Green Monster to clear the bases, thumping his chest as he took third on the throw home.
The Red Sox had three on and two runs already in in the fourth inning when Victorino singled to left.