LOS ANGELES -- 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 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.
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).