Trea Turner’s eighth-inning Grand Slam puts Team USA in World Baseball Classic semifinals
The United States risked a major disappointment, but Trea Turner quickly turned the tide.
The current Philadelphia Phillies star, going 0-2 twice in the eighth, threw a grand slam that proved to be the game-winner that sent Team USA to the World Baseball Classic .
The United States beat the Venezuelans 4-0, 9-7.
Team USA got off to a good start, with their first five batters of the ball game each getting a hit, and it was 3-0 to the USA before they even recorded an out.
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But Venezuela quickly entered the picture – as the home team in the game (and, despite the game being played in Miami, the crowd certainly showed that it was a home game for the country South American), defending batting champion Luis Arraez drilled a two-run homer to make it a 3-2 game in the first.
The United States scored early in the fourth and fifth, but Venezuela scored four in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-5 lead. Arraez blasted his second homer of the night in the sixth to put his team up two.
However, the United States loaded the bases without any exits, and José Quijada, shortly after a spirited celebration to get out of a traffic jam the previous inning, returned the 407-foot bomb to left field.
Turner lost his voice screaming as he rounded the bases and was mobbed by teammates at home plate as if it were a home run.
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Mike Trout recently said the WBC was the most fun he’s played in years – he was torn for this take, considering his Los Angeles Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014.
But the shortstop — a 2019 World Series winner — showed as much emotion as anyone could deliver on a baseball field — not bad for a “meaningless tournament.”
“It was electric. It was really fun. I don’t really know what I did. I feel like I passed out,” Turner said after the game.
After the game, Turner said it was the best shot of his career.
Again, this is from a World Series champion currently playing in “fake games”.
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The United States will return to the diamond on Sunday to face Team Cuba in the semifinals. If they win, they will face either Japan (the 2006 and 2009 champions) or Mexico (to whom they lost in Pool) for a chance to defend their 2017 title.