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    In what will go down as one of the easiest decisions of this MLB offseason Allen Craig Jersey , the Boston Red Sox have picked up pitcher Chris Sale’s $15 million option for 2019, the team announced Tuesday.After contributing to a franchise-record 108 regular-season wins, Sale also helped Boston win its ninth World Series title.Since coming over to Boston in December 2016, Sale has been everything the Red Sox have hoped for and more. The hard-throwing southpaw has gone 29-12 with a 2.56 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 59 starts over the course of two seasons. He finished second in American League Cy Young award voting during his first season with the team.This year, Sale went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP in 27 starts. He also went 1-0 with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in five postseason appearances (three starts) as Boston won its first World Series since 2013.Not only did he start Game 1 of the World Series and help the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he also closed out the series by pitching the ninth inning of the clincher:His versatility helped him join some exclusive company, per Baseball Reference:Baseball Reference baseball_refPitchers who got the first and last out of the #worldseries:Babe Adams, 1909Ernie Shore, 1916Art Nehf, 1922Waite Hoyt, 1928Lefty Gomez, 1937Paul Derringer, 1940Spud Chandler , 1943Hal Newhouser, 1945And Chris Sale, 2018Drafted in the first round in 2010, Sale debuted that same year and has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the better part of a decade. He has been selected to seven consecutive AL All-Star teams and has finished in the top six in AL Cy Young voting every year since he became a starter in 2012, a streak that is likely to continue this year.Part of why the Red Sox acquired Sale was the fact that he was playing out a five-year, $32.5 million deal, which included a pair of team options. While he has certainly outplayed his contract, even more now that he has helped deliver a championship, he has previously denied ever having any regrets about signing the team-friendly deal, as he told Scott Merkin of in December 2015:”I’ve seen it since then, just kind of going crazy and not one part of me, and I’m being as honest as I can possibly be, there’s not one part of me that is upset , sad, whatever you want to call it. Not one bit of me feels that way. I knew exactly what I was getting into at the time I was getting into it, and I could not have asked for anything more.”He echoed similar sentiments on WEEI’s KirkCallahan in February:”I don’t worry about that crap, honestly. I have one thing to do, right? Play baseball. Pitch. Be a good teammate. Those are all kind of all wrapped into one thing as what I am as a pitcher. I am not an agent. I am not an owner. I am not a general manager, so I know basically nothing about contracts. If and when that happens, all of them can take care of that. I am worried about baseball.”It’s possible Sale and the Red Sox could agree on an extension before Opening Day, but as of now, he will enter the 2019 season in the final year of his contract. That would give him a chance to test free agency at 30 years old. NEW YORK — The final stretch of games against opponents with mostly losing records is producing some frustrating moments for the New York Yankees.There were two lackluster losses to the Chicago White Sox, a team playing better of late but still on course for its sixth straight losing season. Then there were the events of Thursday night against the Detroit Tigers when Dellin Betances allowed a two-run homer to Victor Martinez and a solo shot to Niko Goodrum in a span of three pitches to turn a two-run lead into an 8-7 loss.Article continues below …After a disappointing series opener, the Yankees hope to rebound from a rare late-inning collapse Friday night when they continue a four-game set with Detroit at Yankee Stadium.The Yankees are nearing the end of a stretch in which they play 30 of 37 games against teams with losing records before heading to Oakland on Monday. They are 20-14 so far, with a 19-8 mark against teams under .500.Three of those losses have come since the Yankees returned from a four-game series in Baltimore. They sandwiched a 5-4 win on Tuesday around losses of 6-2 and 4-1 to Chicago and then allowed five homers Thursday and lost for the second time in 71 games when leading after eight innings.“We’ve got some guys moving around right now out of normal positions obviously with some guys down but it’s continue to work, continue to grow Rollie Fingers Jersey , continue to get better,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We are doing that, and we are seeing a lot of positive signs from that, but every now and then we’re seeing some mistakes that to win big we’ve got to get better and curtail them.”The Yankees are 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East after trimming the deficit to six games on Sunday. On Thursday, they wasted Giancarlo Stanton’s 300th homer and Luke Voit’s fourth homer with the Yankees that gave them a 7-5 lead into the ninth.Betances was closing because Aroldis Chapman is a week into his disabled-list stint because of a knee injury. Since Chapman went down Betances and Zach Britton both have had save opportunities.“He’s pitched great for us all season,” Stanton said of Betances. “If we get another save opportunity tomorrow, I am fully confident he can get the job done. Chalk this one up, it’s a bad game for him. He’ll be all right.”Friday is the last day to make waiver trades to get players eligible for the postseason and the Yankees will reportedly acquire Andrew McCutchen.The Tigers are going for consecutive wins for the first time since Aug. 12-13. Detroit also is seeking consecutive road wins for the first time since July 15 in Houston and July 23 in Kansas City.Winning the series opener ended a five-game losing streak where Detroit was outscored 34-10.“We had really two of our worst games in Kansas City the last couple of days,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “So this is really a nice comeback for us. We needed this because we were kind of bummed. The whole club, we didn’t play good baseball in Kansas City. “Martinez, who is likely playing his final series in New York, recorded his 12th career multi-homer game Thursday. The designated hitter owns the team record for RBIs by a switch-hitter with 533, surpassing Billy Rogell’s record.Jeimer Candelario and Ronny Rodriguez also homered for the Tigers , who last hit five homers in a game on Sept. 5, 2017.After J.A. Happ endured his worst outing since joining the Yankees, Luis Severino (17-6, 3.27 ERA) takes the mound Friday for the Yankees and can become the major leagues’ first 18-game winner.He is trying to become the first Yankee to win at least 18 games since left-hander CC Sabathia was a 19-game winner in 2011. Severino also is trying to become the first Yankee right-hander to reach 18 wins since Phil Hughes in 2010.Severino has won his last two starts after going 2-4 with a 7.50 ERA in his previous seven outings from July 7-Aug. 13. He last pitched Sunday night in Baltimore when he allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 win.“That’s first-half-of-the-year dominant fastball,” Boone said. “The slider was still a little inconsistent for him. But I thought stuff-wise and being able to pitch with his fastball, he was electric. So hopefully another step forward for him.”He allowed one earned run and struck out 10 in eight innings in the first game of a doubleheader June 4 in Detroit.Severino is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA in four career starts against Detroit.Jordan Zimmermann (6-6, 4.38) starts for the Tigers and has alternated wins and losses in his last four starts following a four-game losing streak. Zimmermann last pitched Sunday when he allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings of a 7-2 loss.Zimmermann is 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees. His only career start in New York occurred Aug. 2, 2017, when he allowed six hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win in a game that featured a 4 1/2-hour rain delay.The right-hander has issued one walk in his last four starts. In the two wins in that span, he has a 0.72 ERA. In the two defeats, he owns a 9.00 ERA.

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