Penny seeking to become Mr. 120

CINCINNATI — In some ways, Brad Penny is having a Mr. 3000 moment.

Two years after pitching in the big leagues for the last time, Penny is making a comeback at age 36. He’s returned to the team he made his big league debut with in 2000. Penny booblehead

The Marlins have welcomed the veteran right-hander into their rotation in hopes he can provide a youthful team with an experienced boost.

In the process, Penny gets a shot at career victory No. 120. From 2000-12, he was 119-100.

The round number is providing some motivation. It’s not exactly like the movie “Mr. 3000″ starring the late Bernie Mac.

Playing the fictious character of Stan Ross in the movie released in 2004, Mac was a retired ballplayer making a comeback to reach his 3,000th hit.

If Penny were to get win No. 120 on Saturday, he also would move up a notch in Marlins’ history. Currently, he is fifth at 48-42. With a win, he would tie A.J. Burnett for fourth place.

“I’m excited,” Penny said. “It’s been 10 years since I pitched for the Marlins and I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a little weird. But I’ve been with so many teams, it’s kind of normal.”

Penny last pitched in the big leagues as a reliever with the Giants in 2012. His last starts came in 2011 with the Tigers.

“I just took last year off, gave my body a rest,” Penny said. “Everything was kind of aching. I just decided to give everything a rest.”

It crossed his mind that Saturday’s opportunity may never come.

“I’m getting a little older,” he said. “But I’m a little wiser, too.

“I’m just glad they gave me the opportunity.”

Marlins wins leaders

1. Ricky Nolasco 81-72
2. Dontrelle Willis 68-54
3. Josh Johnson 56-37
4. A.J. Burnett 49-50
5. Brad Penny 48-42

Joe Frisaro

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