Homer start of big year for Kearns?

Homer start of big year for Kearns?

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns showed some pop Wednesday, hitting a three-run homer against Dodgers right-hander Jason Johnson in Washington's 10-4 victory.

It was Kearns' first homer of the spring, and the Nationals hope he will hit a lot of home runs during the regular season. Last year, Kearns hit 16 home runs and drove in 74 runs. Many people in the organization thought he would have had more if he didn't play in spacious Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

This year, Kearns will be playing in the more hitter-friendly Nationals Park, and he hopes that means his power numbers will go up.

"I don't set goals," Kearns said, "but I expect it to be better than last year. I expect everything to improve."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.