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3/7/2013 4:00 P.M. ET

Gio goes three scoreless, but offense falters vs. Astros

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros starting pitcher Philip Humber threw four scoreless innings and Jason Castro delivered a late-game two-run single to help send the Astros to a 4-2 win over the Nationals on Thursday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

Humber was very impressive in his longest outing of the spring and has now allowed four hits and two earned runs in nine innings this year. Humber said he was a lot more comfortable on the mound, but still not where he wants to be yet.

"I didn't throw that many breaking balls, but that will come," Humber said. "We're still pretty early, but definitely pleased with what happened today."

Nats starter Gio Gonzalez worked three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and one walk and struck out three batters. Ross Ohlendorf followed him with three innings and gave up three hits and two runs.

The Nats put up a fight later in the game with two runs of their own in the eighth, thanks to a two-run single from Michael Taylor. However, the Astros answered with a two-run single off the bat of Castro.

Up next: The Nats will be happy to return home on Friday after spending the last two days on the road in Clearwater against the Phillies and Kissimmee against the Astros. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will get the nod, making his third start of the spring against the visiting Cardinals. The 1:05 p.m. ET, available on MLB.TV, will be replayed on MASN at 7 p.m.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.