PHOENIX-- Closer Sean Doolittle was the last of the Nationals' four shutdown relievers to back Tanner Roark's strong start with four innings of scoreless relief in a 2-1, 11-inning victory over Arizona, but Doolittle said the save belonged elsewhere.He cited Brandon Kintzler.Kintzler -- who was credited with the win --
PHOENIX-- Closer Sean Doolittle was the last of the Nationals' four shutdown relievers to back Tanner Roark's strong start with four innings of scoreless relief in a 2-1, 11-inning victory over Arizona, but Doolittle said the save belonged elsewhere.
He cited Brandon Kintzler.
Kintzler -- who was credited with the win -- got Paul Goldschmidt to ground harmlessly to third base with runners on second and third and two outs in the last of the 10th inning, setting up Matt Adams' opposite-field single to left field in the 11th.
"That was the biggest out that our bullpen got tonight," Doolittle said.
They got plenty.
Sammy Solis, Ryan Madson, Kintzler and Doolittle gave up four hits, but navigated through the final four innings after Arizona's bullpen balked in the tying run in the top of the eighth inning.
"I kind of had that feeling that we were going to find a way to scratch that run across at some point, and that's the bullpen's job in that situation, to try to give them as many opportunities as we can," Doolittle said.
"They found a way to get it done."
Trea Turner singled and Anthony Rendon walked to open the 11th inning off Noel Salas, the fourth of six Arizona relievers. Adams grounded his hard single off the fifth, left-hander Andrew Chafin, for the Nationals' 10th victory in 12 games.
Solis got two outs and Madson got four before Kintzler and Doolittle finished up. It was a nice return to normalcy for a group that had given up nine earned runs in its previous 15 2/3 innings.
"Credit to the bullpen. They came in and shut them down," manager Dave Martinez said. "Madson giving up four outs was incredible."
None might have been as important as his first, when he struck out Goldschmidt on a 3-2 changeup with a runner on first base to end the eighth after the Nationals had tied it in the top of the inning.
"Madson, that was absolutely electric," Doolittle said. "That was awesome to see. Him getting that changeup going adds a whole other dimension to his repertoire."
Madson touched 98 mph with his fastball and also got swings-and-misses on a curveball and a changeup while facing five batters.
HE SAID IT
"He's starting to swing the bat good, and we want to keep it that way. I don't want to mess anything up. I want him to be healthy for the whole year." -- Martinez, on giving Ryan Zimmerman a day off after Zimmerman played two in a row at San Diego
Max Scherzer brings his Major League-leading six victories into Friday's 9:40 p.m. ET game against the Diamondbacks, the team that drafted him, signed him and traded him before he developed into a three-time NL Cy Young winner. The Diamondbacks will send Matt Koch (2-0, 2.13 ERA) to the hill.
Jack Magruder is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.