Clayton Kershaw looked good in his first rehab start with Rancho Cucamonga

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took a giant step towards a mid-May return with Friday’s rehab start with the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Facing the Lancaster JetHawks, Kershaw allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out six in five innings. The lefty needed 56 pitches to get through his outing.

Kershaw will still need to make one or two more rehab starts, but his performance on Friday puts a very big smile on the faces of anyone waiting for his return — especially Dodgers fans, who have watched their team drop four of their last five games. Kershaw is on schedule to return around the second week of May. When he does return, he’ll replace Paul Maholm in the rotation.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.