For the first time in his professional career, Nationals' No. 1 prospect Lucas Giolito pitched seven innings Wednesday night. He allowed just one run and earned the victory as Class A Hagerstown defeated Lakewood, 8-1.
The Nationals have closely monitored Giolito's workload since he underwent Tommy John surgery a few months after they made him the 16th overall selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, even shutting him down for part of May to ensure he won't hit his innings cap before the end of the season. Before Wednesday, the longest start of the 19-year-old's career had been six innings. He reached that mark twice this season, including last Thursday.
Against Lakewood on Wednesday, Giolito cruised through six innings. He had allowed just three hits and held the BlueClaws scoreless before Phillies' No. 8 prospect Dylan Cozens hit a solo home run in the seventh. Undeterred, Giolito retired the next two hitters to finish his outing. He struck out five batters and walked none.
With the victory, Giolito, ranked No. 36 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, improved to 4-2 with a 2.19 ERA this season. He has struck out 66 batters and walked 21 in 61 2/3 innings.