USA team loses World Baseball Classic: Jose Altuve breaks thumb

By Vasantha

After being struck by a pitch during a World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Team USA, Venezuelan second baseman Jose Altuve broke his right thumb.

In the fifth inning, a Daniel Bard pitch struck Altuve in the right hand, and he was replaced by pinch runner Luis Rengifo.

Venezuela scored four runs during the go-ahead rally, but Trea Turner's grand slam enabled Team USA to defeat Venezuela 9-7.

On Sunday, Altuve will report to camp in West Palm Beach, Florida, for another update from the Astros.

Omar Lopez, the Venezuelan manager, is deeply concerned, sad, and frustrated. 

 I must be strong in front of you, my family, and my country. Let's wait a few days. Jose will be tested by the Houston Astros. My concern is deep."

Altuve is the second All-Star and key performer injured in the WBC. Edwin Diaz suffered a ruptured patella tendon against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP, is likely to be absent. March 30 will be the Astros' title defense at Minute Maid Park. The duties of Altuve could be taken over by Hensley and Dubon.

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