All year the Red Sox showed an ability to ignore adversity to take their opponents’ best punch and refuse to get knocked out. A strong case can be made that no one endured more bruises along the way than Shane Victorino the oft-injured right fielder whose three-year deal to come to Boston was widely declared the worse free agent signing of last offseason.

And so it seemed appropriate in many respects that Victorino was the player who in improbable fashion delivered the blow that punched the Red Sox’ ticket to the World Series crushing a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning that turned a 2-1 deficit into a Game 6 Fenway festival an eventual 5-2 victory that allowed the Sox to dispatch the Tigers and prepare to welcome the Cardinals to Fenway Park for the start of the World Series on Wednesday.

Victorino spent tedious years working to master the craft of switch-hitting enduring mind-blowing struggles for full seasons of his minor-league career. The craft of learning to hit left-handed was one that did not come easily but with time it did come to the point where he proved capable of making an impact from either side of the plate.

But an assortment of injuries rendered him unable to continue to bat from both sides of the plate down the stretch this year. For the first time in more than a decade Victorino became a full-time right-handed hitter his few dalliances in turning around to hit left-handed (including in Game 5 of the ALCS against Anibal Sanchez) ending in such futile fashion that he declared as the Sox prepared to head back to Boston after Game 5 that the experiment was done: He would bat exclusively from the right side at least for the rest of the postseason.

The Tigers smelled blood. They attacked him with a succession of nasty breaking balls from right-handers leaving him flailing.

But in the bottom of the seventh inning Victorino stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out against right-handed reliever Jose Veras Detroit clinging to a 2-1 lead. He immediately fell behind 0-2 and Veras sniffed a punchout. But the reliever went to the well one time too many leaving a curveball over the plate. Victorino unloaded clearing the Green Monster for his record-tying second-career grand slam to give the Red Sox a 5-2 advantage and inspiring bedlam at Fenway Park.

The Sox then raced through the final two innings — with Craig Breslow (perfect eighth) and incomparable closer Koji Uehara (scoreless ninth two strikeouts — including the game-ender against Jose Iglesias) doing the honors to secure the franchise’s 13th American League pennant and its third in the last 10 year. The team will now host the same Cardinals franchise (albeit with a completely altered roster) that it defeated in four games in the 2004 Fall Classic.