VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Penny, back in action after missing a start, needed 80 pitches over four innings against the Mets on Monday night but said, "I can't ever remember feeling better." Five days after being sidelined with stiffness in the front of his shoulder, Penny said he felt comfortable enough to throw his splitter in a game for the first time this spring. He had a 39-pitch second inning and was charged with three runs and five walks, but said he wrote off the results to close pitches not called for strikes. "It's a relief," he said. "That was 100 percent right there. Honestly, I wasn't going to let it go, but I was throwing very hard and it felt effortless. I'm not going to throw harder than that, ever. For me, mentally, this was a test. It's a huge relief to feel pain-free with not one thing in my body hurting."
Manager Grady Little said Penny is on schedule to pitch Saturday in the Freeway Series, then in Game 4 of the season in San Francisco on April 6. "It was a good outing for him. Very positive," said Little. Repko out for the year: Outfielder Jason Repko's left hamstring injury is so severe he will require season-ending surgery, team trainer Stan Conte said Monday. Repko tore two of the three hamstring tendons off the pelvic bone. Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic will perform the surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles. "The prognosis is good, the timing is bad," said Conte, noting that Repko is expected to make a 100 percent recovery, but the rehab is a minimum of five months. "Essentially, he'll miss the season. It's rare in baseball, more common in football." Repko suffered the injury racing for a line drive in the gap Thursday and said it occurred when loose dirt on the warning track gave way under his foot. "I could tell it was bad after it happened and when they told me how bad it was, I broke down," said Repko. "I felt like, why? I was just starting to feel healthy." Repko had just returned from a strained groin, the latest in a string of injuries that included an ankle sprain that sidelined him 2 1/2 months last year, two broken vertebrae and a hamstring tear in the other leg. Furcal update: Conte said Rafael Furcal's left ankle is showing dramatic improvement, but the sprain was so severe it's still uncertain whether the shortstop will be ready for Opening Day.