MLB

Max Scherzer's World Series return unclear after cortisone shot

The Washington Nationals remain unsure about the health of starting pitcher Max Scherzer and catcher Kurt Suzuki heading into Game 6 of the World Series against Houston on Tuesday night.

Nationals ace pitcher was scratched from Sunday start with nerve irritation in neck

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer speaks to reporters after being scratched for Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday in Washington. He was dealing with nerve irritation in his neck and his status for Game 6 and a potential Game 7 is unclear. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

The Washington Nationals remain unsure about the health of starting pitcher Max Scherzer and catcher Kurt Suzuki heading into Game 6 of the World Series against Houston on Tuesday night.

Scherzer was scratched from his Game 5 start Sunday night because of nerve irritation near his neck and had a cortisone shot. Scherzer won the opener and hopes to be able to pitch in a Game 7 if the Nationals get that far.

Houston won three in a row at Washington to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.

"Hopefully he's a little bit better," manager Dave Martinez said on a conference call Monday before the Nationals travelled to Texas. "My understanding is it takes about 24 hours for this injection to really work."

WATCH | Astros bats stay hot en route to Game 5 win:

Houston cranked three two-run homers in their 7-1 victory over Washington, and is now just one win away from a World Series title. 1:29

Stephen Strasburg starts for the Nationals and Justin Verlander for the Astros in Game 6 on Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET. Martinez did not want to think yet whether Scherzer would be able to throw in a Game 7 on Wednesday night.

"There won't be a Game 7 if we can't get out of Game 6," he said.

Suzuki missed the last two games after injuring his right hip flexor on Friday.

"Getting better," Suzuki said. "Going to do some stuff today and we'll figure out more tonight after we get into Houston."

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