SEATTLE -- The hits just kept on coming for the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, when the upstart team started a refreshing kind of streak.
One day after snapping a six-game slide with a 22-hit, 16-run explosion, the Astros won their second consecutive game and their first series of the season by way of an 8-3 victory over the reeling Seattle Mariners.
Houston (3-6) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and rolled to another easy win, racking up 15 hits along the way.
Chris Carter led the onslaught with his third home run in two nights while going 3 for 5. During the three-game series, Carter went 8 for 15 with three home runs and five RBI.
Astros starter Brad Peacock (2-1) gave up two home runs and three runs in five innings, but Houston's suddenly explosive offense made sure he didn't need to have his best stuff.
Seattle (4-6) lost for the sixth time in eight games while seeing its fan base shrink in numbers while swelling in vocal displeasure. The announced crowd of 10,493 broke the previous night's mark of 10,745 as the lowest in Safeco Field history, and those who did come began booing the Mariners in the third inning.
Backup catcher Kelly Shoppach gave Seattle an unexpected jolt of offense, as he helped cut into the Astros' early lead with a solo home run and an RBI double. When Franklin Gutierrez chased Peacock from the game with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth, the Mariners had pulled to within 5-3 and provided a brief sense of hope.
But Carter's one-out, two-run homer in the top of the seventh gave the Astros a little more distance. Things have been going so well for Houston's offense lately that third baseman Matt Dominguez tried to stretch a stand-up double into a triple to lead off the eighth inning, only to get gunned down easily at third.
The next batter, Marwin Gonzalez, homered to right off Seattle reliever Carter Capps. That marked Houston's eighth home run in two games after the Astros had put up just two in their first seven games.
The win gave Houston its third consecutive series win over Seattle, with the previous two coming in 2004 and 2007.
The Mariners' night got off to a rough start when right fielder Michael Saunders came out of the game after Houston's first at-bat. Saunders sprained his right shoulder slamming into the wall while catching a fly ball from leadoff hitter Jose Altuve. While no official diagnosis was available late in the game, a Mariners spokesman said Saunders could be expected to miss some time.
Things didn't get much better for Seattle after that, as the Astros followed their 16-run Tuesday night with another strong start at the plate.
J.D. Martinez's sacrifice fly and Rick Ankiel's two-run home run gave Houston a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
The lead swelled to 5-0 in the third, when the hometown fans began to turn on the Mariners with a spatter of boos. The anger started when Gutierrez failed to corral a towering, shallow pop fly that shortstop Brendan Ryan lost in the lights. That allowed leadoff hitter Jason Castro to reach second base.
After Castro scored on a single by Carlos Pena, Martinez drilled an RBI double into the right-field corner off starter Blake Beavan.
That gave Houston a total of 21 runs in its past 12 innings since Monday's shutout loss.
The Mariners got some unexpected offense from Shoppach, who hit a solo home run in the third inning and added an RBI double in the fifth to cut Houston's lead to 5-2. Shoppach's double was so close to the top of the wall in left-center field that the umpires briefly looked at an instant replay before ruling that it fell just short of another home run.
NOTES: Before the game, the Mariners optioned reliever Lucas Luetge to Triple-A Tacoma and promoted Bobby LaFromboise. The left-hander gives Seattle a fresh bullpen arm after the Mariners had to use four relievers in Tuesday's 16-9 loss to the Astros. ... Outfielder Casper Wells, who missed out on the Mariners' final roster spot, was claimed off waivers by Toronto. ... Astros manager Bo Porter didn't mess with success Wednesday, when he trotted out a near identical batting order to the one that erupted for a season-high 22 hits a day earlier. Eight spots were the same, while right fielder Ankiel replaced first baseman Brett Wallace as the No. 7 hitter. Pena moved to first base, leaving Carter to serve as the designated hitter. ... Left fielder Michael Morse was not in the Mariners' lineup for the first time this season.