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Nationals’ lineup for series finale with Rockies: Lucas Giolito start No. 4

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Lucas Giolito is back up in the majors this afternoon to take on the Colorado Rockies in the series finale in the nation’s capital.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Giolito gave up four hits, three walks and four runs, two earned, in just 3 ⅓ innings in his last start in the majors before this afternoon, in a 10-6 loss to the San Diego Padres in which received no decision.

Through three starts for the Nationals, Washington’s top pitching prospect has a 4.91 ERA, a 7.06 FIP, nine walks (7.36 BB/9), five Ks (4.09 K/9) and a .273/.396/.477 line against in 11 IP.

Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters after that outing about what Giolito struggled with in his third major league start.

“I was talking to Ramos when I took him out and he said [Giolito] couldn't get his secondary pitches over,” Baker said, “his curveball and his changeup, so he was really down to one pitch, and you either have to have tremendous gas or you have to be able to locate to the max, so it's back to the drawing board with him."

“It's an issue of getting your secondary pitches over,” Baker explained.

“If you're not getting your secondary pitches over then they're not going to swing at bad primary pitches, which is your fastball, out of the zone.

“And so they start zoning in on one pitch and taking everything else."

Giolito returned to Triple-A Syracuse after that start.

On the year with the Nats’ top minor league affiliate, the 22-year-old, 2012 1st Round pick is (1-2) in six starts with a 2.76 ERA, a 3.11 FIP, nine walks (2.76 BB/9) and 35 Ks (10.74 K/9) in 29 ⅓ IP.

He makes his fourth start in the majors this afternoon.

Here’s the lineup that will back Giolito up in the series finale with the Colorado Rockies today in D.C.:

In order to make room on the roster for Giolito’s return, the Nationals optioned Wilmer Difo to Double-A Harrisburg: