BALTIMORE — The Los Angeles Angels have suddenly become a power hitting team.
Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena each homered twice in the first four innings as the Angels continued their weekend power barrage against the Baltimore Orioles in a 5-1 victory on Saturday night.
Valbuena hit a solo homer and a two-run blast and Trout banged out two solo homers to give the Angels five runs in the first four innings.
Trout’s first-inning homer gave the 26-year-old 25 for the season. He became the third player in history to hit 25 homers six times before his age 26 season. Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson are the others.
“It’s pretty cool,” Trout said. “To be grouped up with (those) guys it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
The Angels (63-60) hit five homers in Friday’s loss plus four in this win and now have nine in the first two games of the series — after being ranked next-to-last in the American League in homers coming in.
In fact, all 16 runs the Angels have scored in their past four games — the first two in Washington — have come via home runs. Manager Mike Scioscia certainly is glad to see it.
“We’ve hit them out,” he said. “We haven’t hit many all year. 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.”
Angels starter JC Ramirez (11-10) dodged some trouble in the early innings as the Orioles put runners in scoring position in the first and third but came away with just one run.
He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits, before leaving with right forearm irritation in the sixth.
Scioscia said they wanted to err on the side of caution and take him out when the pitcher informed them of his problems. The medical staff checked the pitcher out and said it was just an irritation, but he is going to have an MRI when returning to Los Angeles on Monday.
“I talked to the doctors ... they checked everything,” Ramirez said. “They think it’s OK because they did all the tests, and I didn’t feel any pain. It’s just that muscles are tight.”
Kevin Gausman (9-9) didn’t fare as well for the Orioles (60-63), allowing those four homers in the first four innings. He gave up five runs and six hits in four innings plus two batters and left while trailing 5-1.
The four home runs allowed tied a career high.
“Bad execution — trying to throw some fastballs up,” Gausman said. “Left two of them to Valbuena. Just left too good of pitches. Obviously, Mike Trout, missed location twice. He’s a tough player. He’s going to make you pay for it.”
There also was a 40-minute rain delay after the seventh inning, the second straight night for a weather delay.
Trout belted a solo home run in the first inning that made it 1-0. After Tim Beckham scored on a wild pitch in the first, Valbuena broke the tie with a solo homer leading off the second.
Then Trout added his second solo shot in the third and Valbuena hit a two-run homer to left-center field in the fourth to put the Angels ahead 5-1.
“We had trouble keeping it in the park,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You make good pitches, you get outs. Mistakes get magnified up here with power being so prevalent at the major league level. Mistakes go a lot farther.”
Home plate umpire Tom Hallion had to be replaced in the top of the second by second-base umpire Vic Carapazza after Martin Maldonado fouled one off Hallion’s face mask. The game was delayed for several minutes while the change was made.
NOTES: Former Orioles OF Brady Anderson won the pregame Home Run Derby for players from the 1992 team as the Orioles are celebrating 25 years at Camden Yards this weekend. The team also wore 1992 uniforms. ... Orioles 1B Chris Davis, who has missed the first two games of the series with an illness, could be back Sunday. ... Angels OF Cameron Maybin did not play again as his right knee is still bothering him. Manager Mike Scioscia said Maybin is day to day. ... Angels 3B Luis Valbuena’s two home runs gave him nine since the All-Star break.