Trea Turner’s decisive grand slam leads the United States to a 9-7 victory over Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic as the Americans advance 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 on 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 to Turner, who then sent a ball 407 feet to left to give the US a lead that would not give up.
In addition to Turner’s exploits, the Americans got a 3-for-5 performance from Kyle Tucker, who hit a home run, double and single while driving in two runs.
The back of the USA bullpen stood out, as Devin Williams and Ryan Pressly each pitched a scoreless inning.
Trea Turner’s go-ahead grand slam was enough for the USA to defeat Venezuela 9-7 in Miami
Luis Arraez of Venezuela, playing in what will be his new home stadium for the Miami Marlins this year, hit two home runs, drove in four runs and scored three.
José Altuve, one of Venezuela’s biggest stars, was hit by a pitch from Daniel Bard in the fifth inning. Altuve was immediately pulled from the game with an apparent right thumb injury.
Venezuelan starter Martín Pérez lasted just 16 pitches, allowing five hits and three runs. In fact, Team USA needed just two batters to score their first run.
Mookie Bells singled to start the rally. He came around to score when Mike Trout’s jam shot landed in shallow center field, and Ronald Acuña Jr.’s missed 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 fastball on the first pitch for a single before scoring on Arraez’s home run to right.
A tight back-and-forth game was decided by Turner’s blast in the top of the eighth inning.
The reliever Ryan Pressly (55) closed the victory, confirming the appointment of the Americans with Cuba
The USA extended their lead to 4-2 in the fourth on Betts’s sacrifice fly.
In the fifth, Tucker homered off Astros teammate Luis Garcia, throwing his shot just inside the right-field foul pole. That made it 5-2.
However, Venezuela took their first lead, 6-5, in the bottom of the fifth when Bard couldn’t find home plate. He faced four batters and walked two of them as well as hitting Altuve.
Reliever Jason Adam came on and allowed an RBI groundout, Salvador Pérez’s RBI double and Acuña’s sacrifice fly.