Chris Carter finished 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and two runs scored to lead the Houston Astros to an 8-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
Carlos Pena collected three hits, an RBI and two runs scored, while Rick Ankiel clubbed a two-run homer and Marwin Gonzalez added a solo shot to help the Astros notch their first series victory of the season.
"Everybody's confidence was still up, as a team we had better at bats today and yesterday," Carter said. "Everybody's happy as a team, (to) just go out there and show we can still do it, not to get down, the first two series we got beat pretty good, but this series we came back and hopefully, it keeps rolling."
Brad Peacock (1-1) limited the Mariners to three runs on four hits and a walk over five-plus frames to earn the victory.
Kelly Shoppach went 3-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBI, while Franklin Gutierrez accounted for the other Seattle run with his third homer of the season.
Blake Beavan (0-1) allowed five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings to absorb the loss for the M's, who have lost four of their last five.
"You've got to execute pitches. You can't give up that many hits in two nights and expect to win ballgames," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "You've got to execute pitches, you've got to work hard to get ahead and stay ahead, and when you do, you've got to finish them off. We've just made too many mistakes from a pitching standpoint, and when you do that, it makes it a lot easier for the opposition."
The game got off to an inauspicious start for the Mariners, as Jose Altuve launched Beavan's fourth offering deep into the gap in right-center field.
Seattle right fielder Michael Saunders was able to track the ball down at the warning track, but as he made the catch, he ran full speed into the padded wall. Saunders remained down on the warning track dirt and had to be removed from the contest because of a sprained right shoulder.
After going down in order in the first, Houston got on the board with a three- run second, as Carter started the inning with a single and Pena followed with a double. J.D. Martinez then plated Carter with a sacrifice fly before Ankiel crushed a changeup over the center-field wall to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
The Astros added to lead in the third, as Jason Castro led off with a high fly ball that shortstop Brendan Ryan lost in the lights, allowing Castro to make his way to second.
Carter followed with a fly out that moved Castro to third before Pena stroked a single to right to make it 4-0. Martinez then scorched a double off the right-field wall to score Pena for a 5-0 advantage.
Seattle's first hit of the game produced the team's first run, as Shoppach smacked a one-out blast in the third to bring the M's within 5-1.
Shoppach scorched a run-scoring double in his next at-bat in the fifth before Gutierrez led off the sixth with an opposite-field homer to trim Seattle's deficit to 5-3.
Houston added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh when Castro stroked a one-out double and Carter followed with a towering fly ball into the bullpen in left field to give the Astros a 7-3 lead.
Gonzalez belted a one-out homer in the eighth to account for the final margin.
It was Houston's third consecutive series victory over the Mariners ... Houston went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base ... Seattle went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six on base ... Seattle LHP Bobby LaFromboise spun a perfect ninth in his major league debut.