The Dodgers will give Clayton Kershaw the ball on Opening Day on Thursday in San Diego, and again for their home opener five days later. The point, of course, is to have the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner on the mound as often as possible.

The team can only hope Saturday's outing, Kershaw's final spring training tuneup, was a fluke. The left-hander allowed six hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kershaw was especially blunt in his self-assessments afterward.

On his outing: "Not very good. I gave up runs and hits. That's usually what constitutes a bad outing."

On his location: "Not great."

On whether he's concerned by his performance: "I don't have concerns. Never said I did."

Sounds like Kershaw is looking forward to the beginning of the regular season as much as anyone in Dodger blue.

If there is a concern in advance of Kershaw's next start - and his next season - it is he will try to replicate 2011, when he won 21 games, recorded a 2.28 ERA and struck out 248 batters, all National League bests.

"Putting pressure on yourself to do that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, "that's a lot."

Left-handed slugger Jason Kubel got Arizona on the board in the first inning with a two-run home run off Kershaw. He drove a high fastball over the outside corner of the plate to left field.