HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The
reduced the National League Central Division to a two-team race.
ended a personal five-game losing streak and
drove in three runs as the Astros completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 4-1 victory.
The sweep moved Houston two games in front of the second-place
in the NL Central and dropped the Cardinals 5 1/2 back with only 12 games to play.
"The goal is to take two out of three. The sweep is more than we asked for," Biggio said. "The Cardinals are right behind us. We're just focusing on one game. We've been doing this the last two weeks. We're just grinding it out."
"We have to try to find a way to rebound, and we will," St. Louis manager
Tony La Russa
said. "They just really shut us down, they really did."
Redding was 0-5 with a 4.42 ERA in seven starts since August 1. But the righthander continued to thrive during the day, giving up just one run and three hits in six innings with a walk and a strikeout. He is second in the NL with a 1.44 ERA in matinees.
Redding left immediately after the game to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
"Obviously, you couldn't ask for a better situation for us," Astros catcher
said. "Our entire staff pitched well (this weekend). It was a perfect series for us."
each pitched a hitless inning. Wagner worked the ninth and extended his club record with his 43rd save in 46 chances.
"To beat Woody (Williams), Matty (Morris) and (Dan) Haren, you wouldn't expect that with their offense," Wagner said. "Wade (Miller), Roy (Oswalt) and Tim pitched great games. What impressed me most today was Redding."
Biggio singled in Redding in the bottom of the third to give Houston a 2-0 lead, then capped the scoring an inning later with a two-run single.
Haren (3-7) absorbed his fourth straight loss and remained winless since August 11. He surrendered all four runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out two.
"I pitched the last three or four games that have been really big, so I felt the same today. There was no more added pressure," Haren said.
led off the bottom of the second with his sixth triple of the season and scored on a sacrifice fly by
to put Houston ahead.
In the third, Redding helped himself with a leadoff double and scored on Biggio's base hit.
The Cardinals put runners at the corners with none out in the fourth but got just one run as
bounced into a double play.
"When we win, it's because our big guys have been producing. That's why they call them big guys," La Russa said. "But right now, they're not (producing) and I can't explain it."
Redding contributed again in the fourth by grounding out to move two runners into scoring position. Biggio came through with a two-out single for a 4-1 cushion.
"It was a big hit by Biggio, a two-out base hit," Astros manager
said. "Redding put the ball in play with the guys in motion."