Trea Turner hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and propelled USA to the semifinals with a 9-7 win over Venezuela.
In a game worthy of the playoffs in Miami, Turner got the crowd going with a resounding slap to left field. It was the third grand slam in Team USA history.
Venezuelan second baseman and Houston Astros star Jose Altuve left the game in the fifth inning with a right hand injury after being hit by a Daniel Bard pitch. The Astros announced there would be an update on his health on Sunday.
Astros officials said they will provide an update on Sunday.
Trailing 7-5, the United States loaded up the bases in the eighth thanks to a walk, a single and a batter hit by losing pitcher Jose Quijada.
Silvino Bracho came into the game to limit the damage, but Turner, the American squad’s ninth batter, fired 407 feet from home plate to left field.
Luis Arraez, playing at home for his new Miami Marlins team, hit two home runs for Venezuela. Arraez was traded to the Marlins in the offseason after four seasons with the Minnesota Twins.
Kyle Tucker also stretched his arms for the Americans, who had nine All-Star players in their starting lineup.
David Bednar, the fifth pitcher to hit the mound for the United States, was credited with the victory. Ryan Pressly scored the last three outs of the game and earned the save.
Defending champions, the Americans will face the Cubans on Sunday evening to try to reach the final of the World Baseball Classic. The other semi-final will pit Mexico against Japan.