Michael Morse hits game-tying solo homer in eighth inning of NLCS Game 5

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We have a brand new ballgame in San Francisco.

After Adam Wainwright proved his doubters wrong by holding the Giants to two runs over seven innings this evening, the Cardinals’ lead vanished as soon as he left the ballgame. Michael Morse came up as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning and slugged a leadoff solo homer against Pat Neshek to tie things up at 3-3. The blast sent AT&T Park into a frenzy. Morse gave a curtain call to the crowd after returning to the dugout.

Morse was left off the Giants’ roster during the NLDS due to an oblique injury and he has been limited to pinch-hitting duties during the NLCS. He hit 16 home runs during the regular season, though he hadn’t gone deep against a right-handed pitcher since way back on July 5. This was a good time to break that streak.

Following Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla will try to keep the tie intact as he heads to the mound for the Giants for the top of the ninth inning.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.