(Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera wasted little time turning the table on their former manager.
The New York Yankee duo will try to hand Joe Torre and the Los Angeles Dodgers a second straight loss this evening in the continuation of a much-anticipated three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Yankees and their fans have been waiting for this series ever since Torre ended his 12-year run as New York's manager following the 2007 season. The club and skipper combined for 1,173 wins, six American League pennants and four World Series titles during Torre's tenure that began in 1996 but then ended when the two-time AL Manager of the Year rejected the team's offer of a reduced salary following an early exit from the 2007 playoffs.
These two storied franchises have opposed one another 11 times in the World Series, but their only previous regular-season meetings occurred from June 18-20, 2004 at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles won two of the three tilts, but it was New York that drew first blood on Friday night with a 2-1 victory, the Yankees' third straight and fifth in six games.
Rodriguez, who played under Torre with New York from 2004-07 and was called "A-Fraud" by the manager in his 2009 book about his tenure in Yankee pinstripes, scored on Jorge Posada's single in the second inning and then hit the 593rd homer of his career in the sixth inning to make CC Sabathia a winner.
Sabathia pitched eight innings, with the lone blemish a Manny Ramirez RBI single in the first inning, and won his fifth straight start, while Rivera, as he had done so many times under Torre, struck out the side in the ninth to record his 17th save of the season.
"To watch the guys coming out of the other dugout that I'm used to seeing was a little strange for me," Torre said. "We were going against a pitcher [Sabathia] that was never on my side. We just couldn't get anything done."
While the Yankees increased their lead over the Rays and Red Sox for first place in the AL East to three games, the Dodgers fell four games back of the NL West-leading Padres after losing for the seventh time in eight games.
A frustrated A.J. Burnett will try to deal Los Angeles its 11th loss in its last 14 games as well and halt his personal four-start losing streak in the process.
The right-hander is pitching to a 10.35 earned run average over his slide, allowing 23 runs in 20 innings. He yielded seven runs on nine hits over just four innings versus the Diamondbacks on Monday, giving up five runs and three homers in the first innings while falling to 6-6 on the season with a 4.83 ERA.
"A little frustration, disappointed. I know how good I am and how I should be throwing the ball," Burnett said. "The past handful of starts I haven't been giving my team a chance from out of the gate. I'm preparing, I'm doing my work in between, just not executing out there in the game."
The 33-year-old hasn't faced the Dodgers since throwing eight shutout innings in a victory against them on Aug. 19, 2005 while with the Marlins. Burnett is 3-2 lifetime versus Los Angeles with a 2.45 ERA.
The Dodgers start Hiroki Kuroda, who is 1-1 over his last three starts despite pitching to a 0.95 ERA over that time.
After beating the Reds with five scoreless innings of three-hit ball on June 15, the 35-year-old righty lost to the Red Sox on Sunday despite allowing just two runs over seven innings with nine strikeouts in a 2-0 setback.
"I can't control [the run support]," Kuroda told the Dodgers' website. "I did the best I could and that's pretty much what I have to do."
In the midst of this third season in the majors, the Japanese import faces the Yankees for the first time.