DENVER (AP) -- Brad Penny was going to make his 2005 debut, no matter what the weather was like at Coors Field.
"I've waited a long time and I wanted to pitch," Penny said. "It was cold, it was hard to get loose, but these are the conditions you want to pitch in here."Penny got through five-plus innings in his return from the disabled list and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied past the Colorado Rockies 8-6 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.Milton Bradley had four hits for the Dodgers, who scored five times in the eighth inning and ended a three-game skid.Penny allowed four runs and six hits. He hadn't pitched since Sept. 22 because of a nerve injury in his right biceps."Brad pitched today, he wasn't just a thrower," Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. "He threw a couple of pitches up on the gun, but he utilized his curveball and changeup to get through the game."Penny was lifted after 81 pitches. He gave up a two-run homer to Preston Wilson in the first inning but then settled down and retired 11 in a row during one stretch."I was fortunate we had some offense late," Penny said.Jason Phillips, Olmedo Saenz and Norihiro Nakamura each had two RBI for Los Angeles.Trailing 5-3, the Dodgers got five runs against Colorado's struggling bullpen in the eighth. Brian Fuentes hit J.D. Drew with
a pitch and Byung-Hyun Kim (0-3) plunked Jeff Kent to open the inning. Bradley doubled to score Drew, and Saenz followed with a tying RBI single.Phillips greeted Justin Speier with a go-ahead double, and Nakamura made it 8-5 with a two-run single."We didn't have it," Fuentes said. "This was our game to win."It was the latest meltdown by the Colorado bullpen, which has seven blown saves in nine chances this year. Fuentes, Kim and Speier were tagged for five runs and four hits in the eighth inning."The bullpen has been an issue since Day 1," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It hasn't been doing things to give us a chance."The Los Angeles bullpen was much more effective.Giovanni Carrara (3-0) worked two innings to earn the win, allowing J.D. Closser's RBI single in the eighth. Yhency Brazoban pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities.With a 3-2 lead, Penny gave up infield singles to Clint Barmes
and Todd Helton to open the sixth inning. Duaner Sanchez replaced Penny, but Matt Holliday hit a two-run triple with one out. Desi Relaford slapped a single through the middle, making it 5-3.Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the first on Kent's sacrifice fly. Wilson homered with Barmes aboard in the first inning, his fourth of the year.The Dodgers went up 3-2 in the sixth on sacrifice flies by Saenz and Phillips."I'm just glad to finally get going," Penny said. "Maybe now I can get 28 to 30 more starts."
Dodgers third baseman Jose Valentin had minimal swelling in his right hand a day after being hit by Fuentes' pitch. ... To make room for Penny, the Dodgers placed right-hander Elmer Dessens on the 15-day DL with a bone spur in his right shoulder. ... Phillips has a 10-game hitting streak. ... Colorado right-hander Aaron Cook will throw 35 pitches of batting practice Monday in Tucson, Ariz. ... The Rockies will soon decide the next move for third baseman Garrett Atkins after his four-game rehab assignment ended Sunday. ... Barmes has a 10-game hitting