Giolito whiffs 11 in strong second start for Potomac

Nationals No. 1 prospect bounces back from season debut with dominant performance

Giolito whiffs 11 in strong second start for Potomac

This was the Lucas Giolito fans were expecting.

The Nationals' No. 1 prospect (No. 6 overall) dominated Class A Advanced hitters on Thursday evening, striking out 11 Wilmington batters and giving up one earned run over six innings for Potomac. The powerful display followed Giolito's slightly less than stellar season debut on May 8, when he gave up five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

The 6-foot-6 righty spent the first month of the season at the Nats' Spring Training facility in Viera, Fla., after the organization decided to give him some extra rest. Giolito hit his innings limit last season while going 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 20 starts for Class A Hagerstown.

Thursday, he traded blows with Royals No. 26 prospect Cody Reed, who matched Giolito's six innings while tossing nine strikeouts and preventing any runs.

Ultimately, Wilmington prevailed in the pitchers' duel, 1-0. Reed, a southpaw, picked up the win to move to 3-2 with a 1.69 ERA. Giolito nearly cut his ERA in half as it dropped from 10.38 to 5.23 after the outing.

Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.