MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Giolito to start for Nats in finale vs. Padres

Giolito to start for Nats in finale vs. Padres

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Lucas Giolito, the top prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, will pitch for the Nationals on Sunday against the Padres, manager Dusty Baker announced Saturday.

It will be Giolito's third Major League start this year. Before he was sent to Triple-A Syracuse, Giolito allowed a combined four runs in 7 2/3 innings. In his first start against the Mets on June 28, Giolito pitched four shutout innings, but left the game because of a rain delay. A week later, the Mets hit him hard as they scored four runs in 3 2/3 innings. The outing prompted Baker to say that Giolito needed to improve his secondary pitches.

"The Mets were sitting on his fastball and they hit him pretty good tonight," Baker said that day. "If you don't have command of your fastball, they can hit the ball out of the ballpark just like us."

After the start, Giolito was sent to Syracuse. In his only start, he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed a run on seven hits and struck out seven.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.