Astros break out the bats to pound Mariners

Through seven games this season, the Houston Astros had managed just 17 runs. They erupted for 16 in one game on Tuesday night.

Chris Carter hit two home runs and Jose Altuve went 4-for-6 with a homer and four RBI to help guide the Astros to a 16-9 win over the Seattle Mariners Tuesday night at Safeco Field.

J.D. Martinez and Marwin Gonzalez also hit home runs for Houston, which snapped a six-game losing skid. Gonzalez went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

Erik Bedard struck out three in four shutout innings for the Astros while allowing just one hit. Paul Clemens (1-0) picked up his first career win in his MLB debut despite allowing five earned runs and three long balls in four innings of work.

The Astros knocked Seattle starter Brandon Maurer out of the game after just two-thirds of an inning pitched. Maurer surrendered six earned runs and seven hits before giving way to the bullpen.

"These are days you just forget," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "You take whatever good you can out of it, some good things happened for us offensively at the end of the game, but from a pitching perspective, we just had a very off day, everybody was scuffling today. It was just a bad day."

Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez each belted pinch-hit home runs for the Mariners, who have lost five of seven.

Houston wasted no time taking command of the game, putting up a six-spot in the first inning. Carlos Pena started things off with a two-run double with the bases loaded. Martinez and Matt Dominguez each drove in a run and Altuve added a two-run double before Maurer was lifted for Kameron Loe, who got Justin Maxwell to pop up to end the frame.

The Astros added three more runs in the second on a solo home run by Carter and two-run shot from Martinez.

Gonzalez, who broke up Yu Darvish's perfect game bid earlier in the season, hit his first homer of the season to lead off the third inning. Carter plated Maxwell later in the frame.

Altuve's two-run bomb in the top of the fourth put Houston up 13-0.

"We showed today what the team really has, the guys woke up today, I just think of it that way," said Altuve. "Tomorrow, we're going to do the same thing, work hard, and when you work hard, good things are going to happen."

Seattle finally threatened with the bases loaded in the bottom of the stanza but Bedard got Jesus Montero to pop up in foul territory to get out of trouble.

The Mariners managed to get on the board in the fifth inning on a pair of sacrifice flies by Brendan Ryan and Michael Saunders, but Maxwell brought home another run in the sixth on a double play.

Bay hit a solo homer in the Seattle seventh, while Gonzalez answered with an RBI single in the home portion.

With the game just about out of reach, Ibanez and Michael Morse hit back-to- back home runs off Clemens in the eighth to bring Seattle to within 15-5.

Houston mustered one final run in the ninth on Carter's second bomb of the game. Ibanez then added his second RBI with a single to left, Bay scored his second run on an Altuve throwing error and Justin Smoak's two-RBI single rounded out the scoring.

Game Notes

Ibanez is the all-time leader in home runs at Safeco Field with 67 ... The Astros hit five home runs Tuesday after entering the contest having hit just two ... Houston first baseman Brett Wallace went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, bringing him to 1-for-21 with 17 strikeouts on the year ... The 10,745 fans were the smallest crowd to ever see an MLB game at Safeco Field.