Trey Turner blew up an arena on Saturday in Miami.
Behind an eighth-inning grand slam from the Philadelphia Phillies shortstop, Team USA defeated Venezuela 9-7 to advance to the semifinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
The Americans entered the inning 7-5 and six out of elimination after taking a three-run lead in the fifth. Venezuelan reliever Jose Quijada, who halted an American rally in the previous frame, quickly ran into trouble with Pete Alonso’s single, Tim Anderson’s walk and JD Realmuto’s hit-by-pitch.
Venezuela then replaced Silvino Bracho, who faced a daunting task: bases loaded, going to face Turner, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout, if Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado were ugly. He started well, going 0-2 on Turner, but then he hung a changeup, well, see for yourself:
Turner knew it right off his bat, and he made sure the American dugout knew it too:
Turner was asked after the game what place the moonshot held in his career. he said “It might be No. 1 homer-wise,” and he couldn’t think of a better one.
So good for the quarter-finals of a tournament that it doesn’t matter.
Venezuela beat the USA from there, but had to make up two runs. They were already on their way to a big win as they scored four runs in the fifth inning after Daniel Bart lost his command and opened the door for Venezuela to take the lead. However, they lost star second baseman Jose Altu on a hit-by-pitch in the process.
Before Turner’s slam, most of Team USA’s runs came in the first inning, and they should have scored more. The U.S. opened the game with five straight singles, but Kyle Tucker’s one out on the basepaths gave Venezuela a break and stopped the bleeding.
The win sets the USA up for a semifinal game against Cuba at 7 pm ET Sunday (FS1).