Braves miss chance to clinch NL East, lose 4-0 to Marlins Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

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MIAMI – Jesus Luzardo struck out 12 in six innings Brian Cruz hit a two-run homer and the Miami Marlins prevented Atlanta from capturing their fifth consecutive NL East title by beating the Braves 4-0 on Monday night.

After beating rival Mets at home over the weekend, Atlanta arrived in Miami needing one win or loss in New York to complete the division crown and bye in the first round of the playoffs.

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The Braves were unable to resolve Luzardo or slow down De La Cruz, and the Mets lost at home against Washington. New York is 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta, which will go into a doubleheader Tuesday against bottom-placed teams, while the Braves play the second of three games in fourth-place Miami.

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“You just can’t go and win a baseball game. It has a lot of moving parts,” said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “These are dangerous teams, there are talented guys there. It’s hard to win the game. We’ll go get a good night’s sleep, come back and do it again.”

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Dansby Swanson had two of Atlanta’s four hits, all off Luzardo (4-7). Brave Sluggers Austin Riley as well as Matt Olson scored three times against the left-hander, who took his first win since 7 August.

“It’s very nice,” Luzardo said. “I just wanted to go out there and do what I did: give us a chance to win, get in the game for the long haul. The result was great and I definitely wanted the train to keep running.”

This was the fifth time the Braves have been sidelined this season and the first time since September 8, 2020, they have been banned by Miami.

“Tough last three days, then overnight travel, we just couldn’t score,” Riley said. “There is no panic. Come back (Tuesday) and close that thing.”

De La Cruz also doubled to singles, finishing under a cycle under three times for the third time in his last nine starts. Jesus Sanchez doubled twice and stood out as Miami snapped an eight-loss streak to the Braves.

“Hopefully the next time I get the chance, when I need a triple, I try to hit one and maybe the outfielder dives, misses, and the ball bounces,” De La Cruz said.

Atlanta kick off Bryce Elder, which Washington had thrown in their previous game, was withdrawn after giving up four runs in five innings. The Elder (2-4) allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five.

“I wish it was closer than four,” he said.

Swanson doubled for sixth before Luzardo swung. Michael Harris II, Riley and Olson. It was Atlanta’s last hit as a pitcher. Jeff Brigham, Brian Hoing as well as Richard Blair each threw a perfect inning for Miami.

Doubles from De La Cruz and Sanchez in the first game gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead.

De La Cruz’s double shot in the third made it 4-0. The sophomore outfielder drove Elder’s lead through the wall in the center of his 13th homer this season. He has raised his batting average to .390 with five homers and 22 RBIs since being recalled from Triple-A on September 7.

“That’s who I am, the player they brought in last year,” De La Cruz said. “And so I will continue to be for the rest of my career.”


Luzardo’s dominant final start of the season followed similar performances from teammates. Sandy Alcantara as well as Pablo Lopez against Milwaukee over the weekend. Alcantara, the top contender for the NL Cy Young Award, played his sixth full game in the major leagues in a 1–0 loss while Lopez had seven scoreless innings and received no decision.

“Our guys kept us there and gave us chances,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “If you look at the whole season, it was a pretty strong suit. For the most part, they were pretty solid.”


When Elder made his previous start in Miami on August 14, he was a one-day challenge from Triple-A to finish 27th on the doubleheader lineup. He may now feature in Atlanta’s postseason plans after his third outing since being recalled for the fifth time on September 19.

“He’s definitely going to be in the conversation,” Snitker said. “He invested in it.


In September, Harris did what he had done earlier in June and August. The 21-year-old center fielder received his third NL Rookie of the Month award. Harris hit .324 and finished with six homers and 19 RBIs in September.


Withstand: 2B Ozzy Albis (right fracture of the little finger) went with the club to Miami, where he will continue rehabilitation.

Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas On Wednesday, he will have surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right wrist.


Brave RHP Jake Odorizzi (5-6, 4.53 ERA) Series middlegame starts Tuesday as Marlins go LHP Braxton Garrett (3-6, 3.56).

ST. LOUIS – Rescuer Giovanni Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals signed a two-year, $11 million contract that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could be 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 lucky,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have words to accurately describe how I feel.”

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

Gallegos receives a $500,000 signing bonus and a $4.5 million salary 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 could increase by $3.5 million for games completed in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25, 26-30 and 31-35 and $1 million each for 36-40 and 41 and more.

He will receive $250,000 for the Rivera/Hoffman Recipient of the Year award, $50,000 for All-Star and World Series MVP selection, and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos’ salary this year is $2.41 million.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and could potentially become a free agent after the 2024 season.


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