HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The
are in no rush to leave home before the All-Star break.
pitched six scoreless innings and the Astros scored a run in each of the first four innings en route to a 5-2 victory over the
, completing a 6-1 homestand.
Houston has 50 wins (50-44) at the All-Star break and is in first place in the National League Central, one game ahead of St. Louis. The Astros started the homestand with a four-game sweep of Cincinnati and took two of three from the Pirates.
"We have played really well of late," said Astros manager
. "Our starters have been going deeper into games and we are starting to get hits with men on base. You combine those things and you're going to win some games."
Redding (6-8) struggled for most of the first half of the season, but was superb on Sunday. He allowed five hits and walked just one with five strikeouts.
"I didn't feel very good in the bullpen before the game but sometimes you go out there, pitch well and you come up smelling like roses anyway," said Redding, who was relieved in the seventh after throwing 96 pitches, 65 for strikes. "My best pitch was the two-seamer today and I was able to keep the sinker in the strike zone. I wanted to make that tough on righthanders."
Meanwhile, Pirates starter
(5-4) was knocked out in the third inning. He walked two batters and hit two others in the first, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead.
"Josh didn't have any command today," said Pirates manager
. "He fell behind a lot of hitters, left the ball up. He just didn't have it today."
"I didn't stay out there very long and I didn't get very many people out," Fogg said. "I felt fine when I went out there. It's just one of those days, I guess. It all boils down to me not doing my job."
hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning off reliever
, giving him 15 RBI in his last nine games.
, Houston's lone All-Star representative, pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 28 opportunities.
"We haven't played this well since 1999 and you're going to have the chance to get those saves when your team is playing this well," Wagner said. "I don't really like to set goals because a lot of times the save chances that I get are out of my hands."
The Astros have won 10 of their last 11 home games against the Pirates, who head into the All-Star break with a 41-50 mark.
"They've pretty much had our number here," McClendon said. "What else can you say? They play better, pitch better, hit better, execute better and they get the wins. It's that simple."
extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games with a single in the second inning.
Blum also extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with his RBI single in the sixth inning.
Fogg lost his control after two were out in the first inning, walking Bagwell and Berkman and then hitting
with pitches to force in a run.
Houston scored another run in the second when
singled, moved to second on a sacrifice by Redding and came home on a single by Biggio.
Berkman led off the third with his 17th home run of the season, pulling a 3-2 pitch into the right field mezzanine.
Houston made it 4-0 in the fourth when Biggio singled, moved to second on a grounder by Blum and scored on a single by Bagwell.
Redding doubled in the sixth and scored on a single by Blum.