Trea Turner’s clutch grand slam lifted the United States to a 9-7 win over Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic as the Americans advanced to the semifinals to face Cuba
Trea Turner hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning as the United States defeated Venezuela 9-7 in the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals on Saturday night in Miami.
Team USA will play Cuba in a semifinal game Sunday night in Miami.
Tim Anderson walked, Pete Alonso singled and JT Realmuto was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs for Turner, who then sent the ball 407 feet to left to give the US a lead it would never relinquish.
In addition to Turner’s heroics, the Americans got a 3-for-5 performance from Kyle Tucker, who homered, doubled and singled while driving in two runs.
The back of the USA bullpen dominated, as Devin Williams and Ryan Pressly pitched one scoreless inning.
Trea Turner’s go-ahead grand slam is enough for USA to beat Venezuela 9-7 in Miami
Venezuela’s Luis Arraez — playing in what will be his new home stadium for the Miami Marlins this year — slugged two homers, drove in four runs and scored three.
Jose Altuve, one of Venezuela’s biggest stars, was hit by a pitch from Daniel Bard in the fifth inning. Altuve was immediately taken out of the game with an apparent right thumb injury.
Venezuela starter Martin Perez lasted just 16 pitches, allowing five hits and three runs. In fact, Team USA only needed two batters to score its first run.
Mookie Bells sang to start the rally. He came close to scoring when Mike Trout’s jam shot fell into shallow center field, and Ronald Acuna Jr.’s errant throw. bounced off Betts. RBI singles by Paul Goldschmidt and Tucker made it 3-0.
Venezuela scored twice in the bottom of the first when Altuve hit a first-pitch fastball for a single before scoring on Arraez’s homer to right.
A tight, back-and-forth game was decided by Turner’s blast in the top of the eighth inning
Reliever Ryan Pressly (55) closes out the win – Americans date confirmed in Cuba
USA extended its lead to 4-2 in the fourth thanks to Betts’ sacrifice fly.
In the fifth, Tucker struck out Astros teammate Luis Garcia, sending his shot just inside the right field foul pole. That made it 5-2.
However, Venezuela took its first lead, 6-5, in the bottom of the fifth as Bard couldn’t find the plate. He faced four batters and walked two of them in addition to striking out Altuve.
Reliever Jason Adam came in and allowed an RBI groundout, Salvador Perez’s run-scoring double and Acuna’s sacrifice fly.