HOUSTON (AP) -- Tim Redding didn't think about his four-game
losing streak, the longest of his career.
"I was trying to throw the ball and not worry about what would
happen if the ball was hit," he said. "I had been in a rut where
I was worrying too much about the ball being hit."Redding won for the first time in a month, and Morgan Ensberg
hit a two-run homer as the Houston Astros beat Cincinnati 6-3
Tuesday night, the Reds' sixth straight loss.Redding (5-8) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings to
win for the first time since defeating Tampa Bay 2-1 June 8. Billy
Wagner pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for his 23rd save."I just tried to clear my head and throw the ball," Redding
said. "I've had some good games, but I've been getting tough
breaks and not too many runs to work with, and getting no decisions
or tough-luck losses."I've been getting down on myself and thinking that I had to go
out and pitch a perfect game and win 1-0. Today I wiped the slate
clean."Jimmy Haynes (1-9), who lost his fourth straight decision, gave
up six runs, six hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings. He struck
out six."I felt good. I really only made two mistakes, one to Ensberg
and one to Lance Berkman," Haynes said. "The sixth-inning error
hurt me a little. I just have to keep going out there, and hope it
turns around quickly."Cincinnati, which allowed three more unearned runs, is on its
longest skid since losing eight straight from June 16-24 last year.
The Reds have just 11 hits in the first two games of the series."You are going to go through periods like this. We are in a
little rut," Cincinnati's Aaron Boone said. "I don't think its a
big deal but, unfortunately, we are not scoring a bunch of runs
right now. But I think we will come out of it." We stink right
now. Pick an area, offense, defense and pitching."Ken Griffey Jr. agreed with Boone."It is just one of those things that every team goes through,"
he said. "The Astros went though it when they were swept in
Pittsburgh. It's just critical when you are in your division. The
good thing is we have a couple of more games with these guys and we
can turn it around."With the score tied in the fifth, Houston went ahead when Jeff
Bagwell walked and came around on Lance Berkman's double. Bagwell
walked three times.Houston added three runs in the sixth on an RBI double by
pinch-hitter Orlando Merced, and run-scoring singles by Craig
Biggio and Geoff Blum.All the scoring came after a two-out error by shortstop Barry
Larkin on Adam Everett's grounder. Catcher Kelly Stinnett also had
an error in the game, increasing the Reds' major league-leading
total to 85.Adam Dunn's 25th homer put Cincinnati ahead in the second, but
Ensberg hit a two-run homer in the bottom half, his team-high 17th.
He is batting .324 (33-for-102) in his last 34 games with 12 homers
and 25 RBI.Larkin hit an RBI single in the fifth.Griffey homered in the eighth off Pete Munro, his ninth this
Wagner is Houston's third three-time All-Star, joining Mike
Scott (1986, 1987, 1989) and Dick Farrell (1962, 1964, 1965) ... Of
Dunn's 58 hits, 25 are homers ... Cincinnati bench coach Ray Knight
was hit behind the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Richard
Hidalgo, while Knight was in the Reds dugout in the second. The
game was delayed 5 minutes while he was treated ... Sean Casey left
in the fifth because of a strained right groin. He is day to day.
... Octavio Dotel left because of tightness in his left hamstring.