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Penny makes 1st Dodger Stadium appearance since Aug. 8

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Brad Penny returned to the Dodger Stadium
mound for the first time since his frightening arm injury last
August. Fortunately, he didn't have any flashbacks -- just success.

Penny pitched six scoreless innings and rookie Jason Repko hit a
three-run homer, leading Los Angeles to a 6-2 victory over the
Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.

Penny strained a nerve in his right biceps on his 14th pitch
last Aug. 8 against Philadelphia, and bounced off the mound in
severe pain. This was only his third start since then, including
last Sunday at Coors Field, when he allowed four runs in five
innings and got a no-decision in the Dodgers' 8-6 victory.

"He just went after them. He was throwing 93-94 all night
long," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Penny (1-0) threw 95 pitches, giving up four singles and a walk.
He struck out four and allowed only one runner past first base
against a lineup that included four rookies -- including shortstop
Clint Barmes, who became only the third rookie ever with at least
50 at-bats and a .400 or better average in April.

"I had too many three-ball counts, probably, or else I could
have gotten a few more innings in," Penny said. "But any time I
get no more than two walks, I'm happy."

Penny is 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA in eight career starts against the
Rockies, including a victory in his major league debut in April
2000 with the Florida Marlins.

"He had my timing all messed up tonight," said Barmes, who
went 0-for-3 against Penny. "He was throwing a lot of good
fastballs, hitting his spots, and mixing it up with his curve
ball."

Barmes finished the month with a .410 average. Andres Galarraga
hit .415 in 1986 with the Montreal Expos and Willie Randolph hit
.400 with the 1976 Yankees.

"It's obviously an unbelievable feeling," Barmes said. "It's
been a heck of a ride. To achieve this has been a great experience,
a tremendous achievement and something I'll never forget."

Yhency Brazoban, the fourth Dodgers pitcher, relieved D.J.
Houlton in the ninth with runners at first and third and got J.D.
Closser to foul out to left for his seventh save in eight tries.

Brazoban's work has made Eric Gagne's stint on the disabled list
a lot easier for the Dodgers to absorb. His save total is the
highest by a Dodgers rookie since 1982, when Tom Niedenfuer had
nine in 1982. The Dodger rookie record for saves is 17, by Steve
Howe in 1980.

"He knows his stuff and he knows how good he is," Penny said.
"And when Gagne comes back, he'll be setting up Gagne and we'll be
even better."

Joe Kennedy (1-3) allowed six runs -- five earned -- and five hits
over 6 1/3 innings in his Dodger Stadium debut, striking out two
and walking four while lowering his ERA to 7.94. The left-hander
had been 3-0 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 1.57 ERA.

Rookie Brad Hawpe had three hits, including a homer, and both
RBI for the Rockies, who concluded the worst April in the
franchise's 13-year history with a 6-15 record and have won only
two of their last 20 regular-season road games.

First baseman Todd Helton finished April hitting .267, ending
his streak of 14 consecutive months batting .300 or better.

"Talk to me at the end of the season. He'll be where he needs
to be," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Every year you take different
routes to get to that point. He's a pro and one of the best hitters
in the game. He's just going through a tough month individually --
as we are collectively."

For the second straight night, the Dodgers were no-hit through
the first four innings by the Rockies. But they broke open a
scoreless tie with a five-run fifth, after getting four runs in the
fifth against Jason Jennings on Friday night in a 6-3 victory.

Rookie third baseman Garrett Atkins booted a grounder to his
left by Olmedo Saenz leading off the fifth, and Jason Phillips
followed with a double between Atkins and the bag.

One out later, Kennedy hit Penny on the right foot with a 1-2
pitch, loading the bases, and Cesar Izturis lined an 0-2 pitch to
left for a two-run single. Repko then homered to left on a 1-1
pitch, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 cushion.

Game notes
Kennedy's 3.66 ERA last season made him the first pitcher
in Rockies history with 20 or more starts and a season ERA under
4.00. ... The longest any Colorado pitcher had flirted with a
no-hitter during the franchise's 13-year history was 7 2/3 innings
on Aug. 1, 2002, when Jason Jennings' bid at Pittsburgh was broken
up by Rob Mackowiak's single. ... The Dodgers are 6-1 in games
against opposing left-handed starters. ... The Dodgers have scored
the most runs in the NL (126) and the Rockies have allowed the most
runs (137).