Continued from page 1

That left the lead in the hands of the Nationals’ latest - and most desperate - plan to protect late-inning leads: the combination of Wells and Tavarez.

After Wells got out of the eighth inning by forcing pinch hitter Matt Stairs to ground out with two on, it was on to Tavarez, who last saved a game May 28, 2006, as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

He gave up a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins but ended the game with a strikeout of Victorino. Tavarez pumped his fist, thumped his chest and hugged Flores.

“The guys see us different because Kip Wells and myself have been around,” Tavarez said. “Nothing against the other guys in the ‘pen, but the guys that have been around, they see us different.”