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Turner leads U.S. into WBC semis with dramatic slam vs. Venezuela

Daniel Shirey / Major League Baseball / Getty

The United States' quest to defend its World Baseball Classic title is alive and well.

Trea Turner's go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning propelled the U.S. to a spot in the WBC semifinals following a thrilling 9-7 win over the previously undefeated Venezuela on Saturday.

The Americans will face Cuba on Sunday for a chance to play either Mexico or Japan in the finals of the 2023 tournament. Right-hander Adam Wainwright will start against the Cubans, U.S. manager Mark DeRosa announced postgame, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.

The U.S. led the game 5-2 in the top of the fifth before Venezuela stormed back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. The Venezuelans added another in the seventh thanks to Luis Arraez's second homer of the game. However, Turner's game-winning slam put the Americans back on top for good.

"That's one of the greatest games I've ever been a part of," DeRosa said, according to James Wagner of The New York Times.

Venezuela lost Jose Altuve in the fifth after the star second baseman took a fastball thrown by right-hander Daniel Bard off the hand. The Houston Astros reportedly fear his thumb could be broken.

"I'm super worried. I'm sad. I'm frustrated," Venezuelan manager Omar Lopez said postgame in Spanish, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.

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