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Trea Turner’s grand slam lifts Team USA over Venezuela in World Baseball Classic semifinals – Orange County Register


  • Team USA’s Trea Turner hits a grand slam in the eighth inning of their World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Venezuela on Saturday night in Miami. The United States held on, 9-7, and will face Cuba in the semifinals on Sunday night. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

  • Mike Trout of the United States hits a single in the first...

    Mike Trout of the United States hits a single in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic game against Venezuela, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. Mookie Betts scored on play on a throwing error by Venezuelan outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Lance Lynn of the United States makes a pitch during the first...

    Lance Lynn of the United States delivers a pitch in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic game against Venezuela, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Venezuelan Martin Perez delivers a pitch in the first inning...

    Venezuelan Martin Perez delivers a pitch in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic game against the United States, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • USA's Mookie Betts (3) is congratulated by teammates after...

    Mookie Betts (3) of the United States is congratulated by teammates after scoring on a pitch error by Venezuelan center outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic game on Saturday March 18, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Venezuelan Luis Arraez celebrates as he rounds second base after...

    Venezuela’s Luis Arraez celebrates as he rounds second base after hitting a home run by scoring Jose Altuve in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic game against the United States, Saturday, March 18, 2023 , at Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Venezuelan Jose Altuve is hit by a pitch during the...

    Venezuela’s Jose Altuve is hit by a pitch during the fifth inning of a World Baseball Classic game against the United States, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Venezuelan Jose Altuve is helped by a coach after...

    Venezuelan Jose Altuve is helped by a coach after being hit by a pitch during the fifth inning of a World Baseball Classic game against the United States, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • USA's Trea Turner hits a grand slam during...

    Trea Turner of the United States hits a grand slam in the eighth inning of a World Baseball Classic game against Venezuela, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. Tim Anderson, JT Realmuto and Bobby Witt Jr. scored on the play. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • USA's Trea Turner celebrates after giving the nod...

    Trea Turner of the United States celebrates after scoring a grand slam in the eighth inning of a World Baseball Classic game against Venezuela, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami. Tim Anderson, JT Realmuto and Bobby Witt Jr. scored on the play. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Team USA center Trea Turner celebrates with her teammates...

    Team USA’s Trea Turner, center, celebrates with teammates as he reaches home plate after scoring a grand slam in the eighth inning of their World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Venezuela on Saturday night in Miami. The United States held on, 9-7, and will face Cuba in the semifinals on Sunday night. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

  • U.S. third baseman Nolan Arenado, left, and pitcher Ryan...

    U.S. third baseman Nolan Arenado, left, and pitcher Ryan Pressly (55) celebrate after the U.S. beat Venezuela 9-7 in a World Baseball Classic game on Saturday, May 18 March 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • Team USA center fielder Mike Trout, left, celebrates with a shortstop...

    Team USA center fielder Mike Trout, left, celebrates with shortstop Trea Turner after their 9-7 victory over Venezuela in a World Baseball Classic quarterfinal Saturday night in Miami. The United States will face Cuba in the semifinals on Sunday evening. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

By ALANIS THAMES

MIAMI — Trea Turner hit an eighth-inning grand slam that lifted the United States against Venezuela, 9-7, on Saturday night and into the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic.

The defending American champion will face Cuba on Sunday evening for a place in the WBC final against Japan or Mexico. St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright will start for the United States against Cuba.

Venezuelan second baseman and Houston Astros star Jose Altuve started in the fifth with an injured right hand after being hit by a pitch from Daniel Bard. The Astros said there would be a status update on Sunday.

Trailing 7-5, the United States charged in the eighth on a walk, a single and a hit per pitch against losing pitcher Jose Quijada. Silvino Bracho relieved and Turner, the No. 9 hitter on the American roster, sent his 0-and-2 change 407 feet to deep left field for the third Grand Slam in WBC American history.

“Individually, I think that’s probably the biggest hit I’ve had…probably right up there with any hits I’ve ever had,” Turner said.

U.S. manager Mark DeRosa said Saturday’s win was one of the three greatest games he’s ever played in, including winning the World Series with the San Francisco Giants in 2010.

“I told the guys before the game that I wanted to match their passion,” said DeRosa, who once played for Venezuelan professional team Leones del Caracas. “I had played there. I had been a part of that, getting out of the dugout and jumping around… When Trea cut that balloon, honestly I saw about 35 guys, including the coaches, pass out and lose my mind for a minute. So it was just a great time.

David Bednar, the fifth of seven American pitchers, picked up the win and Ryan Pressly finished with three straight outs for the stoppage.

Luis Arraez, playing the ballpark he would soon call home with the Miami Marlins, played in the first multihomer game of his professional career and drove in four runs for Venezuela.

Team USA has a list of big names that many have chosen to repeat as WBC champions.

All nine batters in the United States starting batting order were All-Stars, including Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Nolan Arenado.

The U.S. is in the top six in the tournament in batting average (.296), RBIs (34) and hits (48), and every U.S. starter has one hit against Venezuela, which had gone 4-0 in Group.

“Unfortunately, this is baseball,” said Venezuelan coach Omar López. “We have to accept that and as men we have to hold our heads up high. It’s not easy, especially when they came back into the game.

Venezuela took a 6-5 lead in a four-point fifth after Ronald Acuña Jr.’s sacrificial volley at deep center.

Salvador Perez drove into the tying run with a line double that snuck just inside the left field foul line.

Arraez hit a two-run drive to right field on the first against Lance Lynn, his first home run at his new home park, and added another top of the foul post from right field in the seventh against Bednar to give in Venezuela a two-point lead. . Arraez, the defending AL batting champion, was traded to the WBC host Miami Marlins this offseason after four seasons in Minnesota.

Bard replaced Lynn with a 5-2 lead in the fifth and charged with two walks, a hit and the ground that hurt Altuve.

Bard was taken off after Gleyber Torres scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3 and Arraez hit an RBI groundout against Jason Adam.

The United States hit five straight singles to start the game. Betts started first with a single into the field, then the speedster ran first to third on Trout’s single to center, scoring when he forced a pitching error by Acuña.

Kyle Tucker homered for the United States in the fifth against Astros teammate Luis Garcia.

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