Stephen Strasburg tosses gem

Stephen Strasburg yielded just two runs in six innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Cardinals.

It was a nice rebound start for the Washington ace, who was hammered for six runs over four innings last week against a lowly Marlins team. Strasburg struck out nine Cardinals hitters on Sunday while issuing just one walk. He was left with a no-decision because the Nationals offense didn't grab the lead until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Denard Span hit a walkoff RBI sac fly. Strasburg will try to stay hot in his next outing at home against the Padres.

Manny Machado rehab assignment

The Baltimore Orioles would like to see Manny Machado get nine innings in at third base before sending him out on a rehab assisgnment, according to Eduardo Encina of the The Baltimore Sun.

Machado, who is rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, played in his first extended spring game Saturday.According to manager Buck Showalter, the plan was for Machado to rest Sunday before playing seven innings at third Monday and serving as the designated hitter Tuesday.

The Orioles remained optimistic their third baseman would be ready for a rehab assignment by Friday, but it appears that may be wishful thinking.

Machado - and Orioles fans - will have to wait a little longer for his 2014 debut.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw continues to progress from an upper back injury after completing a simulated game on Sunday without any setbacks. 

ESPN is reporting that Kershaw threw about 50 pitches to hitters at Dodger Stadium, topping out at around 90 mph. 

"It was full effort for me," Kershaw said. "For a 10 a.m. sim game, that's probably all I got."

The session was the first time that the team allowed the left-hander to throw without restrictions since his first and only start this season back on March 22. 

Kyle Farnsworth Mets new closer

Mets manager Terry Collins said Sunday that Kyle Farnsworth has supplanted Jose Valverde as the team's new closer.

Farnsworth has pitched well for the Mets in the early going, allowing just one run over his first 7 1/3 relief innings. However, his velocity has been declining for a few years now and he hasn't had an effective full season since 2011. It's a move that's unlikely to work out, but the Mets don't have any great options. 
 

Anders Lindback will start Sunday

Anders Lindback will start on Sunday after being pulled in Friday's game.

Lindback isn't an ideal playoff starter, but Tampa Bay doesn't have a lot of options with Ben Bishop hurt. The alternative to Lindback would have been Kristers Gudlevskis, who had just one game worth of NHL experience before he replaced Lindback late in Game 2. 
 

Nathan MacKinnon is on fire!

On Saturday, Nathan MacKinnon silenced everyone who wondered whether the Colorado Avalanche could score in the playoffs without injured star Matt Duchene.

MacKinnon put together a four-point game, after posting three assists in postseason debut, contributing a goal and three assists as the Avalanche won Game 2 by a score of 4-2 to take a 2-0 series lead over the Minnesota Wild.