Update on the latest in sports:
Verlander looks to reverse his post-season fortunes
HOUSTON (AP) – Justin Verlander is hoping to make people forget his post-season struggles tonight, when he faces Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals in what the Astros hope will be the World Series clincher. Those struggles include losses in win-and-advance games in this year’s AL Division Series and Championship Series.
If Verlander can rebound from those setbacks, the Astros could win their second championship in three years. They carry a three-games-to-two lead into Game 6.
Will the road-field advantage help the Nationals? So far in this World Series, the visiting team has won each of the five games. It’s the first time that’s happened since 1996 — and it didn’t work out well back then for the Atlanta Braves, who were beaten in Game 6 by the Yankees in New York to end the Series.
Nuggets hope to stay unbeaten
DENVER (AP) – The Denver Nuggets are unbeaten in their first three games, heading into tonight’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks at home. The Nuggets beat winless Sacramento last night.
The Atlanta Hawks head to Miami for the first of a home-and-home with the Heat tonight. They’ll meet again Thursday in Atlanta.
In tonight’s only other NBA matchup, the Los Angeles Lakers, coming off of a runaway win over Charlotte, host the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bruins try to continue hot start
BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Bruins, winners of eight of their first 11 games so far this season, are at home tonight against the San Jose Sharks.
After snapping a three-game losing streak against the Dallas Stars over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Penguins return home to host the Flyers.
Those are among the nine games on the NHL schedule tonight. Calgary is at Carolina, the Maple Leafs host the Capitals, Edmonton skates at Detroit, the Rangers and Lightning play in New York, the Black Hawks visit Nashville, Minnesota is at Dallas, and it’s Winnipeg at Anaheim.
Former NBA player and coach Bianchi dead at 87
NEW YORK (AP) – Al Bianchi, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers and was later an NBA coach and executive, has died. He was 87.
The New York Knicks said Bianchi died in Arizona of natural causes. He was the team’s general manager from 1987-91, signing future All-Star John Starks.
Bianchi was an original member of the 76ers, starting his 10-year career with the Syracuse Nationals in 1956-57 and remaining with the team following its move to Philadelphia.
He spent two seasons as coach of the Seattle SuperSonics before moving over to the ABA, where he was the Coach of the Year in 1970-71 with the Virginia Squires. Bianchi also had two stints as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns and one season with Chicago.
Barty ousted by late sub
SHENZHEN, China (AP) – Ashleigh Barty, ranked Number 1 in the world, has been upset by late substitute Kiki Bertens 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the WTA Finals in China.
Bertens arrived at the elite tournament as an alternate, and has suddenly jumped into title contention with the other seven players in the draw. She took the place of Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the finals with a right shoulder injury ahead of her second round-robin match.
The second singles of the day went in Belinda Bencic’s favor when she outlasted Petra Kvitova 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.