BALTIMORE — The Los Angeles Angels have found their power stroke at cozy Camden Yards.
Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena each hit two home runs off Kevin Gausman, and the Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Saturday night for their eighth win in 10 games.
Trout homered in the first and third innings, and Valbuena connected in the second and fourth to give Los Angeles a four-run lead.
It marked the second straight night in which the Angels got all their runs via the long ball. In the series opener, Los Angeles homered five times in a 9-7 defeat.
Los Angeles ranks 14th in the AL in home runs, but it sure doesn't seem that way this weekend. The nine home runs in successive games is the most by the Angels since June 2003 in Montreal, when they hit 13.
"We haven't hit many all year," manager Mike Scioscia conceded. "We've tried to be creative and try to get men on base. We haven't had the slugging percentage to the level we need it. It's good to see it come alive."
Trout went deep Friday night, too, and now has 26 home runs. He has six seasons with at least 25, tied with Tim Salmon for most in franchise history.
"This park's a little smaller than ours, so that ball carries a little bit better," Trout said. "It's fun to watch. You keep passing the baton and go from there."
It was Trout's first multihomer game of the season and ninth of his career.
JC Ramirez (11-10) allowed one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings before leaving with right forearm tightness .
"We wanted to exercise some precaution and get him out of there," Scioscia said. "Best case scenario he doesn't miss a beat."
In his last start against the Orioles, Ramirez gave up six runs in seven innings on Aug. 7 in a loss that dropped the Angels to 55-58. Now they are 63-60 and in thick of the AL wild-card race.
Gausman (9-9) struggled through four innings, allowing five runs and six hits. The four homers he surrendered matched a career high.
"I really had to grind to find command for my fastball," the right-hander said. "I was having a tough time, kind of battling against myself, the whole night."
In his past 11 starts, Gausman has lost only twice — both against the Angels.
After Trout homered on the fourth pitch of the game, the Orioles got a run in the bottom of the first when Tim Beckham doubled and scored on a wild pitch.
Valbuena led off the second with a drive to centre and Trout made it 3-1 in the third . In the fourth, Andrelton Simmons snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a double and Valbuena followed with his 15th home run on an 0-2 pitch.
Baltimore has lost seven of 11 and has not won successive games since Aug. 5-7.
Home plate umpire Tom Hallion was struck in the mask by a foul ball in the second inning and left the game. He was replaced by Vic Carapazza.
The Orioles marked the 25th anniversary of Camden Yards by bringing back 19 members of the 1992 team, including Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Mussina, Brady Anderson and Chris Hoiles. Before the introductions, Anderson won a Home Run Derby over Sam Horn, Joe Orsulak, Hoiles and Mike Devereaux. Rick Sutcliffe, who tossed a shutout in that 1992 opener, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Angels: OF Cameron Maybin, who leads the team with 25 stolen bases, missed a second straight game with a sore knee.
Orioles: 1B Chris Davis was sidelined by a virus for the second game in a row. ... SS J.J. Hardy (fractured wrist) remains on course to start a rehab assignment next week and could return by Sept. 1.
Angels: Drafted by the Orioles in 2010 and traded by Baltimore to the Angels in April, the surprisingly successful Parker Bridwell (7-1, 2.88 ERA) makes his first appearance at Camden Yards in the series finale Sunday. The Angels are 11-1 in games started by Bridwell, whose career with the Orioles consisted of two appearances and a 13.50 ERA.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (1-7, 7.83 ERA) will make his first start since being demoted to the bullpen two weeks ago. The right-hander got his only win on May 7.