“Better, definitely,” said Kershaw, who gets one more start next week as a final tuneup for his seventh Opening Day assignment, April 3 against San Diego at Dodger Stadium.
“Fastball command wasn’t quite as good as I need it for the season,” he said. “I fell behind a lot of guys, just long at-bats that gets your pitch count up there and makes it hard to go seven or eight innings.”
Kershaw, whose curveball was sharp, walked one, threw 71 pitches and lowered his spring ERA to 2.14.
“I threw everything well at times. Just fastball command needs to get a little better. Sometimes you just pitch better, and I think I just pitched better today.”
Texas manager Jeff Banister didn’t sound surprised at Kershaw’s outing.
“Good fastball, all the off-speed and hitting all his spots,” Banister said. “He is arguably the best in the game. He didn’t miss many spots. Terrific stuff.”
While there’s no doubt what Kershaw will be doing on Opening Day, the status remains uncertain for Julio Urias and Alex Wood, who started Minor League games earlier Thursday.
Urias — pitching for the first time since strep throat — worked three scoreless innings with two strikeouts in a Double-A game. He is likely to open the season in extended spring workouts to conserve innings.
Wood — contending with Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu for one of two final slots in the starting rotation — allowed one run on five hits in five innings in a Triple-A game.
Scott Kazmir, who has been struggling with his command, said he tentatively is scheduled to return to Cactus League action on Sunday.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.