BASEBALL

PHILADELPHIA (AP)Justin Verlander has a very tough act to follow.

Not only will he again be seeking his first World Series win Thursday night, he’ll take the mound against Philadelphia after four Houston Astros teammates combined on the Fall Classic’s second no-hitter.

Verlander failed to hold a five-run lead in the opener, a 6-5, 10-inning loss for the Astros that left him 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight World Series starts. The 39-year-old ace, expected to win his third Cy Young Award in a few weeks, has the highest ERA of any pitcher to throw at least 30 innings in the Fall Classic.

He will be facing a Phillies team that hasn’t gotten a hit since Nick Castellanos’ leadoff single in the sixth inning of Game 3. Before Cristian Javier and three relievers combined to blank Philadelphia 5-0 on Wednesday night, the only Series no-hitter was Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – The wife of two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Tom Coughlin died after a lengthy battle with an uncurable brain disorder.

Coughlin and his family released a statement announcing the death of Judy Whitaker Coughlin. She was 77.

Coughlin, who was Jacksonville’s first head coach in 1995 before leading the Giants to Super Bowl championships in 2008 and 2012, revealed last year that his wife had been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy.

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) – Kyrie Irving said he opposes all forms of hate, and he and the Brooklyn Nets will each donate $500,000 toward groups that work to eradicate it.

While not explicitly apologizing, Irving took responsibility for the negative impact on the Jewish community that was caused by his appearing to support an antisemitic work, as the Nets and their star guard worked to sooth the anger that had been directed at them since Irving’s Twitter post and refusal to apologize for it.

Irving had drawn criticism around the NBA – including from Nets owner Joe Tsai – for posting a link to the film ”Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his Twitter feed last week.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) – South Korea captain Son Heung-min will undergo surgery on a facial injury, jeopardizing his availability for the World Cup in Qatar.

Son, one of Asian soccer’s most high-profile players, was helped off the field during the first half of Tottenham’s Champions League match at Marseille on Tuesday after taking a shoulder to the face.

Tottenham said Son will have an operation ”to stabilize a fracture around his left eye.”

The Premier League club didn’t say how long it expects Son to be sidelined.

”Following surgery,” the team said, ”Son will commence rehabilitation with our medical staff and we shall update supporters further in due course.”

The injury, which is dominating the sports news in South Korea, is a blow to the country’s chances of success at a 10th successive World Cup appearance. Son is the team’s captain, top scorer and star player. National team coach Paulo Bento is set to announce his roster on Nov. 12.

TENNIS

PARIS (AP) – Felix Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev qualified for the ATP Finals after Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz, the other contenders for the two remaining spots, lost in the second round of the Paris Masters.

Eighth-seeded Auger-Aliassime outlasted qualifier Mikael Ymer 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6) to next play wild-card entry Gilles Simon, who overcame ninth-seeded Fritz 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

Auger-Aliassime saved 14 of 17 break points and converted four of five to extend his winning streak to 14 matches.

Fritz failed to convert three set points on Simon’s serve at 5-4 in the opening set. The American also failed to convert any of the three break points he had at 3-2 in the final set. He made 36 unforced errors to 16 for Simon, who is ranked 188th and plans to retire after this tournament.

Teenager Holger Rune stunned 10th-seeded Hurkacz 7-5, 6-1 to meet Rublev, who reached the third round on Tuesday.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Ons Jabeur wasn’t used to the idea of playing so soon after a loss in her WTA Finals debut.

Took her a bit to adjust as well.

The Tunisian rallied for a three-set victory over Jessica Pegula, keeping alive the U.S. Open finalist’s hopes of advancing out of group play in the season-ending event.

Jabeur won the last three games in each of the second and third sets in her 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory after dropping seven consecutive games early in the match.

A loss would have eliminated the 28-year-old Jabeur from the semifinals because Maria Sakkari beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-4 in the late match in a meeting of a players who won their openers in the round-robin format.

Sakkari clinched one of the two spots in the semifinals from her group.

GYMNASTICS

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) – China won its 12th world men’s gymnastics championship, putting together six solid if not always spectacular rotations to cruise to victory over rival Japan in a meet that felt like a battle of attrition.

The Chinese posted a total of 257.858 points, more than four points clear of the Japanese. Host Britain overcame an error-filled set on the pommel horse to earn bronze.

All three teams earned an automatic berth into the 2024 Paris Olympics by finishing on the podium in a meet in which only the Chinese seemed to be able to avoid fall-laden performances.

Italy was fourth, followed by the United States, which found itself in last place after a shaky performance on pommel horse during the first rotation and never fully recovered.