Clutch hitting powers the East to a 4-2 win in the AFL Fall Stars Game

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Baseball isn’t quite over yet. The league’s top prospects clashed in the Arizona Fall League’s annual Fall Stars Game on Saturday evening, which ended by a score of 4-2 when the East Fall Stars took the lead with an eighth-inning rally.

The Nationals’ No. 1 prospect, center fielder Victor Robles, was crowned the MVP after kicking off the three-run comeback with an RBI single off of Indians’ right-hander Argenis Angulo. From there, things snowballed: the Brewers’ Corey Ray took a six-pitch walk, effectively ending Angulo’s outing, followed by another RBI single from the Athletics’ Sheldon Neuse and a sac fly by D-backs’ right fielder Victor Reyes.

Clutch hitting wasn’t the only feature of the game, however. East Fall Stars’ starter and Pirates’ right-hander Mitch Keller dazzled through the first two innings of one-run ball, as did opposing starter and Yankees’ southpaw Justus Sheffield. Their successors — Sandy Alcantara and Tanner Scott, respectively — did them one better, holding their respective opponents scoreless through the fourth.

In the fifth inning, something had to give, and that something turned out to be Adbert Alzolay’s fastball. Padres’ shortstop Luis Urias pounced on a 3-1 pitch left high in the zone, riding it for a deep home run to take the lead. It was the first and last time the West Fall Stars would hold a lead all evening.

Following Urias’ home run and the East Fall Stars’ subsequent rally, Giants’ righty Tyler Cyr returned to close out the ninth inning. He induced a ground out from Andrew Knizner, then caught Braden Bishop swinging at a low changeup and retired Nicky Lopez with a game-ending line out.

With the conclusion of the Fall Stars Game, Arizona Fall League competitors are looking at just nine more games before the Championship Game kicks off at Scottsdale Stadium on November 18. Game time is set for 1:08 PM ET, with the competitors yet to be decided. The Mesa Solar Sox (comprised of Cubs, Tigers, Astros, Athletics and Nationals affiliates) and Peoria Javelinas (Braves, Red Sox, Padres, Mariners and Blue Jays) currently lead their respective divisions with identical 12-9 records.

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

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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year 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 Monday 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.