Redding wins third straight game

HOUSTON (AP) -- Tim Redding thought he was going to going to have
a good game before he threw his first pitch.

"I knew warming up that I was going to have good location. It
was one of those days that I was hitting my spots in the bullpen,"
he said.

Redding allowed four hits over 7 1-3 shutout innings Sunday to
lead the Houston Astros over St. Louis Cardinals 7-1.

Mike Lamb, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman hit two-run homers for
Houston, who had lost five straight to the Cardinals.

Albert Pujols hit his major league-leading 15th homer for St.
Louis, a ninth-inning drive that gave him six homers in his last
eight games.

Redding (3-3), who struck out four and walked three, won his
third straight decision and set a career high for innings in a
game. After Pujols' first-inning single, he retired 16 of his next
18 batters.

"I tried not to get too excited, I just wanted to take what I
had in the 'pen to the mound," Redding said. "Some days, I have
great stuff in the 'pen and I don't go three innings. Other than a
no-hitter or a shutout, I don't think I can throw the ball any

Redding struggled early in the season, losing three of his first
four starts and compiling a 10.57 ERA.

"He pitched a strong game today," Houston manager Jimy
Williams said. "He's getting in the strike zone and getting ahead
of hitters better now."

Redding earned the respect of St. Louis manager Tony La Russa.

"He had a good slider and a good fastball," La Russa said.

Brad Lidge and Brandon Backe completed a five-hitter, the first
win by the home team in nine games between the clubs this season.

Matt Morris (4-5) gave up three runs and four hits in seven

"The first-inning run hurt because it put us behind right
away," Morris said. "The changeup that Jeff Kent hit to drive in
the run was the wrong pitch selection."

Jeff Kent's RBI single in the first and Lamb's homer in the
fourth built a 3-0 lead. Lamb is 2-for-5 against Morris with two

Bagwell and Berkman homered in the eighth against Cal Eldred.

Bagwell's 427th homer moved him past Billy Williams into 33rd on
the career list. Berkman has homered in eight of his last 12 games
and with 139 homers moved past Jose Cruz into 13th place on the
Astros list.

Game notes
Kent extended hit career-best hitting streak to 15 games.
... Adam Everett leads the NL in runs scored by a shortstop with 38
and has a league-leading 14 infield singles. ... Morris has worked
six innings or more in all 11 of his starts this season.