Redding (7-9) gave up an unearned run and two hits in winning for the third time in his last four stars. The righthander threw 101 pitches, striking out four without issuing a walk.
pitched a strong game for us," Astros manager
said. "We got a couple of key hits and the relievers did a good job. That's my main focus, we had a good game. We've scratched and fought all year and today was another example."
Redding was coming off his shortest start of the season. He was tagged for five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings of Monday's 5-3 loss at Pittsburgh.
"My last start was coming off the All-Star break and I did not have myself physically or mentally ready to pitch," Redding said. "I didn't pick up a ball those three days and it cost me. I won't let that happen again. My last start before the break was dynamite and this was pretty much like that one."
retired the first two batters in the eighth inning before walking pinch hitter Troy O'Leary.
came on and retired
on a comebacker and struck out one in a perfect ninth to secure his 31st save in 34 chances.
Bagwell gave the Astros a 3-1 lead with one out in the sixth inning, when he sent
's 2-1 pitch over the right-center field fence for his 22nd homer. The next batter,
, was ejected by plate umpire Matt Hollowell after trying to check his swing on a 2-1 pitch. Williams also argued vehemently and was ejected.
"They are a team, just like we are," Williams said about the umpires. "They work together. It says in the rule book they have the right to ask if it was a check swing or not. They have that option and most of them ask. Those (pitches) were the type where you should ask. If they had asked and they told a strike, I had no problem. I guess just because we're trying to win, things like this mean even more."
Cruz (1-4) was reached for three runs and four hits in six innings in his first start of the year. The righthander, who 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA in seven starts for Class AAA Iowa, walked three and struck out five. Cruz had made 18 appearances for Chicago before being optioned on July 4.
had both hits for Chicago, which lost for the fourth time in five games.
Houston struck quickly as
led off the bottom of the second inning with a single up the middle. Biggio, who has reached base in 30 consecutive games, moved to second on a wild pitch and Cruz walked
Bagwell hustled to avoid being doubled up on a groun ball and Kent grounded out to plate Biggio.
drove a 1-0 pitch up the right field line for an RBI double to make it 2-0.
"Both pitchers threw really well, but the first inning was the ballgame," Cubs manager
said. "We had one ball that could have been a double play and it was a broken-bat ball that was too slow for us to turn the doble play. We should've been out of the inning."
Redding set down the first 13 batters before Ramirez tripled to deep center field with one out in the fifth.
fouled out and Redding got
to hit a ground ball to third. But Blum's throw pulled Bagwell off first base, allowing Ramirez to score.
on a flyout to end the fifth and did not allow another runner until Ramirez singled with two outs in the seventh.