The United States advanced to the World Baseball Classic semifinals on Saturday, topping Venezuela 9-7 thanks to a clutch game-winning grand slam late off the bat of shortstop Trea Turner.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Turner is the first player in WBC history to hit a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning or later.
In the top of the eighth inning, with the U.S. down 7-5, Turner stepped up to the plate with the bases juiced and no outs.
Down 0-2 in the count, Turner destroyed an off-speed pitch from Silvino Bracho, sending it 407 feet over the left-field fence at loanDepot Park.
After the game, Turner told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that Saturday night’s grand salami was the biggest home run of his career. Rounding the bases, Turner called the moment “electric” but added that he wasn’t sure what he did once he got to home plate.
“That was really fun. I don’t even really know what I did,” Turner said. “I feel like I blacked out. I already lost my voice, as you can tell. It was a big homer.”
The U.S. and Venezuela battled in a back-and-forth contest which saw the two teams combine for 16 runs and 23 hits.
Along with Turner’s four-RBI performance, Kyle Tucker finished 3-of-5 at the plate, driving in two runs, while Mookie Betts and Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI apiece.
Luis Arraez led the way on the Venezuelan side, going 2-of-4 with four RBI and three runs scored.
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t all Venezuela lost on Saturday night. Second baseman Jose Altuve left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch in the right hand from Daniel Bard.
While there’s been no update on Altuve’s injury, according to Rosenthal, the concern is that he suffered a broken thumb.
With Saturday’s victory, the U.S. secured the final spot in the WBC semifinals. They’ll take on Cuba on Sunday, while Mexico will face off against Japan in the other semifinal game on Monday. Both games start at 7 p.m. EST.
The winners will battle for the WBC Championship on Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST.