(Sports Network) - Joe Torre depended on Andy Pettitte many times during their tenure together with the Yankees. Now the current Dodgers manager must find a way to slow down his former ace.
Pettitte goes for his 10th victory of the season tonight when New York closes out its spotlighted three-game series with Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.
This series marked the first time Torre was facing the Yankees since his 12- year run at the club's manager ended following an early exit from the 2007 playoffs. In his time with New York, Torre guided the club to 1,173 victories, six American League pennants and four World Series championships.
Pettitte was a part of all four world titles and 152 of his 238 career wins came under Torre. The 38-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down during New York's post-Torre era as he is 9-2 with a 2.48 earned run average this season.
Pettitte has won four of his last five decisions to go along with a 2.25 ERA over his last six outings. After a loss to the Phillies on June 17 despite allowing just two earned runs over seven innings, Pettitte rebounded to beat the Diamondbacks on Tuesday with another seven frames of two-run ball.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in five road starts and has made four career starts versus the Dodgers, going 2-0 with a 3.33 ERA.
Tonight it will be current Yankee manager Joe Girardi that will lean on Pettitte for a series victory. New York won Friday's opener on the strength of starter CC Sabathia, giving the club a win in three straight and five of its last six games, but A.J. Burnett continued his struggles this season in last night's 9-4 setback to the Dodgers.
Staked to an early edge thanks to Mark Teixeira's three-run homer in the first inning, Burnett gave two runs back in the bottom of the frame and another three in the third inning to turn a two-run lead into a 5-4 deficit. He was charged with six runs in three-plus innings when all was said and done, losing his fifth straight start.
"I just couldn't find the zone in the third," Burnett admitted. "I have to keep plugging away. I'm not going to quit. That's impossible."
James Loney paced the Dodgers with two hits and a season-high-tying four RBI, while Rafael Furcal had three hits and scored three runs as the Dodgers won for just the second time in nine games.
"[The win is] important because they're the world champs and they're dangerous," Torre said. "Every time we face someone, we have to measure ourselves."
The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw will aim to rebound from a loss to the Angels on Tuesday that halted a string of three straight winning starts.
The 22-year-old gave up five runs on six hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings of a 6-3 setback, his first loss since May 25. Kershaw's five runs allowed was also his highest total since yielding seven in a setback to the Brewers on May 4.
"I felt very good with the way he was going about it, to be perfectly honest," said Torre on the Dodgers' website. "Even right to the end. Always keep in mind he's still young and still has growing pains. I trust him with the ball. He thinks clear and isn't afraid of the field."
Kershaw, who has never before faced the Yankees, fell to 7-4 with a 3.24 ERA this year. The lefty is 4-2 with a 3.49 ERA in eight starts at home in 2010.
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.