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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw might not pitch in Australia

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Dodgers won't say if Clayton Kershaw will pitch in their season-opening series in Australia. Kershaw won't either.

"You have to ask Donnie," Kershaw said, passing on the question to Manager Don Mattingly.

Asked if he wanted to pitch in Australia, Kershaw smiled. "Ask Donnie," he said.

Predictably, Mattingly remained secretive about the team's rotation plans for the two-game series in Australia. The Dodgers are thinking of sparing Kershaw the exhausting voyage to the other side of the world.

Kershaw pitched two innings in the Dodgers' exhibition opener Wednesday, meaning he will be as ready as any of the team's pitchers to take the mound for the start of the regular season March 22. He should be able to throw 90 or more pitches by then, according to Mattingly.

Kershaw was hit hard by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the same team the Dodgers will face in Australia. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was charged with three runs and five hits over two innings.

Mattingly wasn't bothered.

"With Clayton early, it's a matter of him getting his work," Mattingly said.

A year ago, Kershaw gave up two runs and four hits over two innings in his spring debut. He posted a 4.18 earned-run average in the exhibition season, then went on to have one of the greatest seasons in franchise history.

As usual, Kershaw was hard on himself.

"I'm a results-based guy," he said. "I want to see results. I want to see outs. So, obviously, today left a lot to be desired."

He lamented his lack of control, particularly with his off-speed pitches. Among the pitches he wanted to take back was a curveball he threw for a called third strike on Miguel Montero. "It was probably up, honestly," he said.

After Kershaw was removed from the game, he pitched a simulated inning in the bullpen.

Forgotten man

Javy Guerra was one of the Dodgers' few bright spots in 2011, a promising rookie closer on a bankrupt team. But he faded as quickly as he emerged.

Guerra lost his ninth-inning role only a month into the 2012 season. He pitched in only nine major league games last season, which he spent mostly at triple-A Albuquerque.

Guerra faces long odds to make the Dodgers' roster, but declared himself back Wednesday after pitching a scoreless inning against the Diamondbacks.

"I feel as good as I did in '11," he said.

Guerra said his problems the last two years were more mental than they were physical. "Sometimes you get caught up in things you can't control," he said.

Short hops

Brandon League, who had been slowed by a sore pectoral muscle, pitched to hitters for the first time this spring. … Former Dodger Shawn Green was in camp as a guest instructor. … The Dodgers will hold their annual open tryout at their spring-training complex Thursday. Registration will start at 8 a.m. local time.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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