Ubaldo Jimenez settled some nerves in the dugout and the front office Thursday against the Padres.

In his best performance of the Cactus League season, Jimenez allowed one run on four hits in four innings. He struck out four and walked one on 76 pitches.

Jimenez had pitched so poorly in his first four starts of the spring that manager Manny Acta was concerned. After his previous start against the Reds, in which Jimenez threw 80-plus pitches in three innings while allowing six runs on five hits and four walks, Acta said, "We'll know after Ubaldo's next three starts if we should start worrying."

"I felt much better compared to my last start, especially," Jimenez said. "I still have a lot of things to improve. Getting ahead in the count and staying ahead. I still had too many 3-1, 3-2 counts. I hope in my next two starts I can get there."

Jimenez's velocity ranged from 91 to 95 mph. It was mostly 90 to 92 mph against the Reds.

"Sometimes, you think about it," Jimenez said. "Sometimes, it doesn't feel like it's coming out of your hand good. You wonder about it. Today, that wasn't the case. I was thinking about trying to throw strikes. I felt really good about my mechanics."