World Baseball Classic live updates: USA lead Venezuela in thriller
The flags, face painting and dining were in full swing as Team USA took on Venezuela in a star-studded affair at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Fla. on Saturday night.
Everything was at stake and Venezuela were in full control for most of the clash. But the US regained control in a come-from-behind attack, led by a massive grand slam from Trea Turner, a hit he called the biggest homer of his career. The team now meets Cuba in a semi-final game on Sunday and will have the chance to take home the coveted championship trophy.
The WBC began on March 7 and will conclude on March 21 with the championship game (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, FS1) in Florida. The quarter-finals will take place on March 15-18, followed by the semi-finals on March 19-20.
Matches are broadcast on FOX, FS1, FS2 and can be streamed via the FOX Sports App. The full schedule can be found here.
These are the top plays from the game!
FINALS: USA 9, Venezuela 7
Hit ’em where they aren’t
The USA took an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI brace from captain Mike Trout. The American squad gained an extra base after a misplayed pitch left the field.
Few players have had a better record at the plate over the past 10 years than Paul Goldschmidt. The man they call “Goldy” walked with the pitch he was given and hit an RBI single into right field to drive Trout home.
And his captain loved the team’s start.
station to station
The US traveled five straight hits together in the first inning, and Kyle Tucker fended off an infield to get at center for the team’s third run.
Tucker’s goal forced Venezuela’s starting pitcher Martín Pérez out of action.
Two on the board
Venezuela got back two runs when Luis Arráez lost yards in the bottom half of his own inning. And the stadium was electrified after the big explosion.
Venezuela’s Luis Arraez smashes a two-run homer to close the gap against the US
Venezuela’s Luis Arraez hit a homer from two runs on his home field to cut the deficit 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic against the USA.
give yourself up
Despite Venezuela’s best efforts to fend off his opponent after allowing multiple baserunners, Mookie Betts thwarted his plight by shoving a ball into midfield just enough to bring in Kyle Schwarber and extend Team USA’s lead to 4-2.
Swing for the fences
Despite several stunning defensive plays from Venezuela, Team USA kept their foot on the gas and extended their lead with their first homer, this time without Tucker’s bat.
Kyle Tucker hits a solo home run to the right, giving the US a 5-2 lead over Venezuela
The US took a 5-2 lead over Venezuela at the 2023 World Baseball Classic after Kyle Tucker hit a solo home run.
Don’t count us out!
The Venezuela squad came around in massive fashion in the fifth. After José Altuve left the game after a painful HBP, his team scored a run from a wild field with loaded bases.
It scored another rocket-fuelled line drive for Tim Anderson, who made a potentially run-saving stop to concede an out.
Salvador Pérez may be the heart and soul of this Venezuelan team, and he kept his team rallying with a meaningful tie against RBI.
Venezuela did not let up. Ronald Acuña Jr. nearly left yard to dead center field after Pérez’ RBI, and although Trout camped under the flyball, it was more than far enough to score another run for the squad.
Lost in the lights
Arráez taught a master class on hitting fastballs there. He turned on another heater in the seventh, sending baseball flying into the stratosphere for Venezuela’s seventh heat of the game.
Luis Arráez hit his second home run of the game to give Venezuela a 7-5 lead over the United States
Luis Arráez hit his second home run of the game to give Venezuela a 7-5 lead over the United States.
What better opportunity for a hitter to hit the plate with loaded bases and a chance to take the lead?
Trea Turner got just that, and after two runs he threw his country on his back with a gigantic big fly down left field to put Team USA back in the lead 9-7.
Trea Turner smashes a go-ahead grand slam that gives USA a 9-7 lead in the eighth inning
USA took a 9-7 lead after Trae Turner defeated a go-ahead grand slam.
Turner’s four-RBI jack marked the final scoring change of the game, and at the end of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to do what he’d been doing all tournament: close the door.
His brilliant pitching fixed Venezuela’s last three batters and helped the USA advance to the semifinals.
Team USA advance to semifinals after Ryan Pressly made Anthony Santander jump out
Team USA will advance to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic after Ryan Pressly tricked Anthony Santander into coming out.
“It helps us achieve that goal” – Trea Turner reflects on his grand slam in the USA’s 9-7 victory over Venezuela
Trea Turner spoke to Ken Rosenthal after the US defeated Venezuela 9-7.
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