Clayton Kershaw on track to begin a rehab assignment Friday

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2013 National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw threw 51 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday at Dodger Stadium as he continues to make his way back from a strain of the teres major muscle in his upper back. And he’s nearly ready to make his return to game action.

According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Kershaw is scheduled to throw another bullpen session tomorrow. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that while nothing is set in stone, the southpaw is currently on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday.

Pitchers are permitted to stay on a rehab minor league rehab stint for a maximum of 30 days, but Kershaw might only need a couple of tuneup starts before rejoining the Dodgers.

Video: Cole Tucker’s first MLB hit is a two-run homer

Cole Tucker
AP Images
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Pirates prospect shortstop Cole Tucker stepped up for an injured Erik González on Saturday and wasted little time proving that he was ready to shoulder major-league responsibilities. After starting the game 0-for-2, Tucker pounced on Derek Holland‘s 2-2 sinker and sent it out to center field for a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

Following the tie-breaking blast, Tucker responded to cheers from the crowd with… perhaps a little more ceremony than the occasion required. He was the second of the Pirates’ prospects to record his first major-league hit during the game, as outfielder Bryan Reynolds also hit a single off of Holland in the fourth.

Jung Ho Kang struck out to end the inning, after which a rain delay was called. The Pirates currently lead the Giants 3-1.