Houston snapped a five-game skid with Carter accounting for all of the Astros' runs.
He hit a solo homer in the second that forged a 1-1 tie and then launched a three-run shot in the seventh inning off reliever Jake McGee.
Houston starter Bud Norris (6-7) gave up a run on six hits in seven innings to pick up the victory. It was his first win since June 1.
Jose Veras allowed a hit in the ninth while earning his 17th save.
Tampa Bay had won its previous four games. The loss went to starter Roberto Hernandez (4-10), who put the go-ahead run on base before McGee surrendered the deciding home run by Carter.
Carter has 17 home runs for the year.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]