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Austin Kearns finally heard from

Mike O'Connor settled down after a shaky first inning in which he walked the first two men he faced, leading to a pair of runs, and the Nationals broke out with three runs in teh fourth and three more in the fifth. The three in the fifth came on Austin Kearns's first homer of the spring, a three-run shot that drove in Ronnie Belliard and Lastings Milledge.

Kearns has not shown much of his power this spring, but he has started to swing the bat better the past four or five days, even in the batting cage. Nats also got an RBI double from Alex Escobar and a two-run single from Cristian Guzman.

Jeff Weaver: From what I can glean, there is a little difference of opinions among Nationals brass about whether to seriously pursue him him or not. One camp believes that if he'll sign a non-guaranteed minor league deal, he's definitely worth the shot. The other camp doesn't want to mess with the Nats' chemistry, which they feel is good right now.

Did I mention O'Connor settled down? There are now two outs in the bottom of the fifth, and he hasn't allowed a hit. Did I say two outs? He just sat down Russell Martin on a wicked curveball -- looking. That should be it for him.

Consider this: Is there room for him on the Class AAA rotation?

Just for kicks, say the major league rotation is: Hill, Patterson, Bergmann, Perez, Redding.

That would leave the Class AAA rotation as: Balester, Mock, Chico, Lannan, Clippard.

Where would O'Connor fit?

And -- gulp -- could the Nats have too much pitching?

(Just kidding. Of course they don't. But this is pretty fascinating.)

Headed to sixth: Nats 6, Dodgers 2.

Also, the folks at are saying that we are having some "serious blog issues" that they're trying to work out. My apologies for that.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 12, 2008; 3:46 PM ET
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