PITTSBURGH -- As Brad Penny headed to the Dodgers' clubhouse trailing for one of the few times this season, he told manager Grady Little not to worry -- a comeback was about to happen. Penny's prediction was much better than his pitching.
Andre Ethier's two-run homer in the eighth off demoted Pirates closer Salomon Torres finished Los Angeles' five-run rally in the late innings, and the Dodgers shook off a rare dud by Penny to beat Pittsburgh 5-4 on Sunday.
"Brad told me when he came in, `We're going to win the game,"' said Little, who was already in the clubhouse after being ejected in the fourth inning.
Penny didn't profess to having a premonition, but simply thought the Dodgers were ready to come back against a tiring Tom Gorzelanny, who shut them out on three hits for six innings.
"You see enough games that sometimes you ... well, I was hoping anyway," Penny said. "I'm not psychic or anything, but the attitude of the guys, they didn't give up, and I had a feeling we were going to win."
The Dodgers got their best comeback victory of the season and a slight scare.
Star closer Takashi Saito left with a twinge in his left hamstring during the ninth, but the injury doesn't appear serious. Joe Beimel got two outs for his first save since Oct. 1, taking over with a 2-2 count on Jose Bautista.
Bautista flied out ahead of Jose Castillo's groundout to the mound that ended the game and a 10-pitch at-bat in which Castillo fouled off six pitches.
Little was glad Saito, who is 16-for-16 in save opportunities, told the Dodgers immediately of his problem because it might have prevented a much more serious injury.
"We'll look at it tomorrow and see how it is, but it's a plus he told us that quickly," Little said.
The Dodgers started their comeback by bunching five hits off Gorzelanny and Torres during a three-run seventh keyed by Tony Abreu's double and run-scoring singles by Rafael Furcal and Nomar Garciaparra -- with Garciaparra barely beating out a grounder to third to keep the inning going.
Los Angeles had not rallied from a deficit of four or more runs this season until Sunday.
"It was one of those weird days where not too many things went right, but we had to plug away there," Ethier said. "We kept after it, kept plugging along, trying to get things done, and it turned in our favor at the end."
Adam LaRoche, who hit the first homer off Penny in 71 innings to start the second, has seen too many of these days for the Pirates. They are 11-18 at PNC Park and have won only one of their 10 series there.
"A lot of our series, there's one game like this that could have gone either way, and a lot of them are not going our way," LaRoche said.
Despite the three-run Dodgers seventh, the Pirates led 4-3 going into the eighth. But Torres (0-2), who lost his closer's job after squandering a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning of a 4-2 loss Thursday to San Diego, immediately allowed Russell Martin's single.
Ethier then drove Torres' sinker into the right-field stands for his fifth homer and the Dodgers' first lead of the game. Torres gave up four hits and two runs in one-third of an inning.
"That was tough," manager Jim Tracy said. "One bad pitch and they're ahead, and with that bullpen -- you give a lead to them, and it's very difficult."
Chad Billingsley (4-0), who has pitched 3 1.3 scoreless relief innings in the four-game series that ends Monday, got the victory by retiring all three hitters he faced. Jonathan Broxton reached 98 mph on the radar gun during a scoreless eighth and will likely be the closer if Saito sits out a few games.
Penny and Gorzelanny entered the game with the NL's second- and third-best ERAs respectively, but neither figured in the decision. Penny (six innings, nine hits, four runs) allowed more than three runs for only the second time in 12 starts. Gorzelanny gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings, the first time in seven starts he has permitted more than two runs.
LaRoche was 1-for-10 with four strikeouts against Penny before homering to start the second and adding an RBI single an inning later. Gorzelanny's grounder scored Xavier Nady from third on a close play at the plate and led to Little's ejection for arguing. Jason Bay homered leading off the fifth, his 10th of the season.
- After the game, Little said TV replays convinced him plate umpire Bill Welke got the disputed call right. Little was ejected for the second time in six games against Pittsburgh. He was thrown out of an April 21 game in Los Angeles for arguing balls and strikes.
- Until LaRoche's drive, Penny hadn't allowed a homer since Matt Holliday's drive for Colorado on Sept. 28.
- The Dodgers are 27-0 when leading after eight innings.
- Fourteen of the Pirates' 17 homers in PNC Park this season are solo shots.
- The Pirates had a similar loss May 19 against Arizona, leading 7-2 in the seventh before losing 9-8.