Giolito dominates in 5 innings for Potomac

Nationals No. 1 prospect strikes out nine, allows two hits in his best start this year

Giolito dominates in 5 innings for Potomac

By his own standards, Lucas Giolito had been struggling through his first four starts of the season.

The Nationals No. 1 prospect (No. 5 overall) was 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA after surrendering three earned runs in two straight games. But those worried about his progress were able to exhale after Monday's outing. Giolito fanned nine Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach batters while giving up two hits in five shutout innings for Potomac. He lowered his ERA to 3.95.

The game was suspended due to rain after 10 innings with the score tied at 3 and will pick up on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET.

"I felt good going into it," Giolito told MiLB.com after the game. "I knew that in the bullpen I had all my pitches working, so I was able to put together a good five innings despite being a little erratic with control. Hopefully we finish it off tomorrow."

Selected in the first round of the 2012 Draft, Giolito went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA last year. The Nationals held him and No. 3 prospect Reynaldo Lopez out of the first month of this season after both reached their innings limits in 2014.

"I made a mechanical adjustment to keep my weight back and keep my mechanics more smooth," Giolito said to MiLB.com. "I've kind of brushed off some rust and I feel a lot better moving forward."

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