In the World Baseball Classic title game on Tuesday, Trea Turner extended his hot streak for Team USA by homering in the second inning to give the Americans a 1-0 lead against Japan. Turner’s fifth home run of the competition broke the previous record for most by an American player in their World Baseball Classic career and tied him for the most in a single World Baseball Classic.
Shota Imanaga, a left-handed starting pitcher from Japan, threw a 92 mph fastball that Turner hit for a home run. Prior to Imanaga’s heater over the center, Turner had built a 2-1 lead in the count. Check out the outcome:
Turner’s home run had a launch angle of 25 degrees and an exit velocity of 107 mph, according to Statcast. The ball’s projected distance of 406 feet increased Team USA’s chance of winning by 11 percentage points, to 58.8%.
Turner hit.368/.429/1.000 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in as of Tuesday night. The fifth home run by Turner matched Seung-Yuop Lee’s (Korea, 2006) record for the most by a single hitter in a single tournament. The remaining top four are as follows:
Seung-Yuop Lee of Korea had five HR in 2006; Trea Turner of the United States had five HR in 2023 (and counting); Adrián Beltré of the Dominican Republic had four HR in 2006; and Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands had four HR in 2017.
Turner will return to camp with the Philadelphia Phillies after Tuesday’s game, win or lose. Over the winter, he agreed to an 11-year deal with them for $300 million. He had previously played with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the preceding 18 months. According to Baseball Reference’s estimations, he had a 122 OPS+ and over 30 Wins Above Replacement throughout his career.
The Americans are vying for their second straight WBC championship. Japan won both of the competitions in 2006 and 2009, ensuring they would continue their unbroken string of top-four finishes. They were the only country with multiple championships as of Tuesday.