Trea Turner grand slam leads USA over Venezuela and into WBC semifinal

MIAMI — Everything went proper for Team USA in a pivotal eighth inning in opposition to Venezuela, however no swing was extra necessary than the one which belonged to the nine-hole hitter. 

Trailing Venezuela by two runs, USA loaded the bases with no person out in opposition to left-hander José Quijada. Tim Anderson drew a stroll, Pete Alonso hit a pinch-hit single and J.T. Realmuto was hit by a pitch. 

Venezuela supervisor Omar Lopez changed Quijada with right-hander Silvino Bracho, who was strolling right into a nightmare state of affairs. Not solely would Bracho try and get his first hitter out, however looming proper behind him was the highest of the USA order, that includes none apart from Mookie Betts and Mike Trout.

But first up was Trea Turner, the uber proficient nine-hole hitter who emphasizes simply how deep USA’s lineup is. Turner was shortly down 0-2 in opposition to Bracho, however he hardly let that part him. On the third pitch he noticed, Turner launched a grand slam to left area and erased the deficit to place the workforce up, 9-7, within the eighth inning. Later, Turner mentioned the grand slam was his highest particular person achievement in baseball — and that claims loads coming from a man who has recorded 44 hits in 27 profession playoff video games. 

“Probably the loudest game I’ve ever played in,” Turner mentioned. “Today was electric and just as good as those World Series games.”

USA’s dugout erupted as gamers leaped over the dugout railing and virtually flew to the plate to obtain Turner. As his teammates waited in a half-circle at residence plate, Turner saluted them earlier than leaping up and down and celebrating together with his squad. USA hitting coach Ken Griffey Jr. embraced Turner in a hug as the group roared behind them. It all added as much as essentially the most emotion we had seen from USA up to now within the match.

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Before the sport, USA supervisor Mark DeRosa held a workforce assembly in regards to the “hostile environment” they had been strolling into and instructed his gamers to match Venezuela’s ardour. 

“When Trea clipped that ball, honestly, I saw about 35 guys, including the coaches, kind of black out and lose their minds for a minute,” mentioned DeRosa.

USA by no means appeared again after Turner’s majestic residence run, knocking Venezuela out of the World Baseball Classic with a 9-7 win on Saturday evening at loanDepot Park. Team USA will play Cuba within the WBC semifinals on Sunday evening in Miami with veteran Adam Wainwright taking the hill.

Trea Turner crushes a go-ahead grand slam that offers the USA a 9-7 lead within the eighth inning

Trea Turner crushes a go-ahead grand slam that gives the USA a 9-7 lead in the eighth inning

Turner’s residence run was the third USA grand slam in WBC historical past, as he joined Jason Varitek (2006) and David Wright (2013). USA’s offense overcame right-hander Daniel Bard’s shaky fifth-inning aid outing and questionable in-game technique by DeRosa, each of which led to a four-run rally by Venezuela that, on the time, put USA in a one-run deficit. Bard additionally hit Jose Altuve by a pitch, forcing Venezuela’s star second baseman to go away the sport with an obvious proper hand damage.

Prior to that game-altering fifth inning, USA was for essentially the most half in full management of the sport.

USA had knocked Venezuela lefthander Martín Pérez out of his begin after simply 5 batters. Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Kyle Tucker ripped 5 consecutive hits off Pérez to open the highest of the primary inning. Before many followers had even discovered their seats, USA put up a 3-0 lead over Pérez and Venezuela, prompting supervisor Omar López to drag the southpaw from his 16-pitch outing.

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Make no mistake, Saturday evening’s quarterfinal was an away recreation for workforce USA. Venezuela obtained the loudest ovations throughout pregame participant introductions as yellow, blue and pink flags infiltrated loanDepot Park. Despite the pregame hysteria, nearly all of the stadium was quieted as US hitters hustled across the bases to rally in that first inning. DeRosa, hours earlier than first pitch, had acknowledged that the away-game environment might bode effectively for his squad. Trout and Betts specifically had been fired up by their early success in opposition to Pérez.

But the ballpark roared again to life simply seven Lance Lynn pitches later when Luis Arráez crushed a two-run residence run, slicing Venezuela’s deficit to 3-2 within the first inning. Venezuela’s speedy response to USA foreshadowed the tug-of-war battle between the squads.

“I wanted our guys when we got rolling to come out of the dugout and send a message that we were going to match their energy,” DeRosa mentioned.

In the tip, it was Lynn who gave the gutsiest efficiency of the evening, if solely as a result of it was apparent from the opening body that the right-hander did not have his greatest stuff on Saturday. Lynn labored all through his outing, taking ample time between pitches to assemble himself on the grass off to the aspect of the mound. 

Though he did not file a single clear inning, Lynn did a strong job of limiting the harm after Arráez’s first inning residence run. When Lynn knew his sixteenth batter of the evening, Eugenio Suarez, can be his final, he barreled down and struck Suarez out with a excessive heater to finish the fourth inning. Lynn erupted with a howl and a fist bump earlier than his teammates lined as much as high-five him within the dugout.

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“It doesn’t matter who is pitching, who is closing the game, who is hitting third, it doesn’t matter,” Turner mentioned. “It’s about winning the game. So I’m just glad we came out on top.”

Though DeRosa managed Saturday’s quarterfinal like there was no tomorrow, he admitted it is going to be a late evening for him and his teaching workers as they put together to face Cuba. USA used six relievers, together with high-leverage arms Devin Williams and Ryan Pressly, to close down Venezuela. DeRosa must get artistic with bullpen utilization on Sunday to piggyback what he hopes might be an prolonged outing from Wainwright.

But when it comes to environment? If Saturday’s quarterfinal was rowdy, Sunday’s semifinal with Cuban followers within the constructing could also be downright thunderous. Several workforce USA gamers, together with Turner and Betts, had misplaced their voices by the tip of the evening amidst the celebrating and yelling over the group noise. USA is aware of it should as soon as once more play the position of the villainous away workforce in opposition to Cuba, however it’s a sense the workforce is wanting ahead to embracing once more.

“This is pretty much an all-time high, so I’m looking forward to another game like this,” Betts mentioned.

Team USA vs Cuba World Baseball Classic Semifinals preview

Team USA vs Cuba World Baseball Classic Semifinals preview

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry preview Team USA’s matchup vs Cuba within the World Baseball Classic Semifinals.

Deesha Thosar is an MLB author for FOX Sports. She beforehand lined the Mets as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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