Nationals' No. 1 prospect Lucas Giolito threw six scoreless innings Thursday and Class A Hagerstown defeated Charleston, 1-0. It was his second straight start of six shutout innings.
Giolito, ranked No. 11 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, struck out six and held the RiverDogs to two hits and one walk. He threw 72 pitches and induced eight ground-ball outs.
All three of the baserunners Giolito allowed came in the first two innings. But after Gosuke Katoh hit a one-out single in the second, Giolito was perfect. He induced a double play to end the inning and then retired the next 12 batters in order to finish his start in style.
Second baseman Wilmer Difo, the Nationals' No. 20 prospect, scored the lone run of the game in the fourth. He went 2-for-4 and is hitting .305.
With the victory, Giolito improved to 7-2 with a 2.17 ERA. He has struck out 94 and walked 26 in 83 innings.
Giolito hasn't thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title in the South Atlantic League, largely because the Nationals have closely monitored his workload since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012. If he did qualify, he would lead the league in ERA and WHIP (0.96).