WASHINGTON — Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start in Game 5 of the World Series because of spasms near his neck.

Washington manager Dave Martinez made the announcement 3½ hours before the first pitch Sunday night.

Joe Ross was scheduled to start in place of Scherzer. Gerrit Cole starts for Houston, with the Series tied 2-2.

Martinez said Scherzer felt the spasm near his neck and trapezius muscle on his right side Saturday and woke up Sunday and texted the team trainer that "he was really hurting."

Martinez said Scherzer was "locked up" and "he was in a bad place."

"He's very upset," Martinez said.

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