Chris Sale
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Chris Sale not hospitalized because of belly button ring infection

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Amid the hubbub of Saturday’s Game 7 finale between the Dodgers and Brewers, there was some confusion over a statement Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made to the press. Sale was temporarily hospitalized last week with a stomach ailment and later told reporters it was due to a rash he had contracted from a belly button ring.

Per MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

I had irritation from a belly button ring, just constantly taking it in and out, causing irritation and got a rash down there. Had to take care of that. Doctors and nurses over at MGH were awesome. Things happen, you handle them and keep moving forward.

While Sale’s deadpan delivery fooled a few, whatever stomach bug he was actually dealing with has since been cleared up. He tossed a bullpen on Saturday and has been authorized to return to the mound in advance of the World Series opener on Tuesday. The lefty is 2-1 in three postseason appearances this fall and has allowed four runs, six hits, and 14 strikeouts across 10 1/3 innings so far. His last start in Game 1 of the ALCS was capped at just four innings as he issued two runs, four walks, and five strikeouts during the Red Sox’ 7-2 loss to the Astros.

Manager Alex Cora is expected to announce the remaining rotation matchups on Monday. The Dodgers have yet to formally name a starter for Game 1 of the series.

Report: Astros, Ryan Pressly close to agreement on two-year, $17.5 million extension

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Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and reliever Ryan Pressly are close to finalizing a two-year, $17.5 million contract extension, which will also include a third-year vesting club option. Rome notes that the extension is believed to be the largest, in terms of both total money and average annual value, for a reliever who is not a closer.

Pressly, 30, agreed to a $2.9 million salary for the 2019 season back in January, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility. The Astros acquired Pressly from the Twins near the end of July in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers. Pressly posted a 3.40 ERA in 47 2/3 innings with the Twins and a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Astros. In the playoffs, Pressly allowed just one run on one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts across five innings of work.

Along with Héctor Rondón, Pressly will once again help bridge the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.