Baylor smashed two home runs, knocking in three runs tonight, as the California Angels rocked the Baltimore Orioles, 7-3.

Ken Singleton collected his 18th home run for the Orioles, who suffered their fourth straight road defeat.

The victory moved the Angels into first place in the American League West, one-half game ahead of the Texas Rangers.

The Orioles had beaten the Angels in all five meetings this season, outscoring them, 31-7, and starting pitcher Steve Stone had been successful six times in seven lifetime decisions with the American League West team.

Baylor, a former Oriole who went through a three-week slump in June, now is 16 for 27 with nine home runs and 19 runs batted in his last nine games. His two homers were his 20th and 21st of the season.

Baltimore, showing no after effects of three straight losses at Texas, went ahead in the third inning on Singleton's 18th home run with Kiko Garcia on base.

California starter Jim Barr, who became a full-fledged member of the rotation June 4 when Chris Knapp was sidelined by back problems, had spent the first two innings perfecting his tightrope act.

In both innings, base hits -- by Garcia and Doug DeCinces, respectively and walks had given the Orioles scoring opportunities, but each time Barr squirmed out of trouble. He got Gary Roenicke to fly to center to end the first, and escaped in the second on a double-play ball be Rich Dauer and a strikeout of Rick Dempsey.

The rope began to fray in the third when Garcia hit his second single and took second on a ball call that drew angry protests from both Barr and Angel Manager Jim Fregosi. Singleton made all the arguments academic anyway, drilling a full-count offering over the right-center field wall. It was the 13th home run off Barr in just 89 1/3 innings.

Stone could not hold the advantage, though. The right-hander, moved up two days in the rotation when Jim Palmer's elbow problem flared up again, had worked the first two innings in easy fashion. The only hit was a single by Baylor, who was thrown out stealing.

In the third, Stone yielded a leadoff double to Joe Rudi and walked former teammate Larry Harlow. Then Jim Anderson, filling in at third base for the injured Carney Lansford (pulled rib muscle), chased both men home with a double off the left-field wall.

Bert Campaneris followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved Anderson to third, but Stone struck out Bobby Grich on a full-count fast ball and Dan Ford lined out to Dauer at second.

Like Barr, Stone has shown a talent for giving up home runs, and he displayed it in the fourth with an offering to Baylor, the major league leader in runs batted in.

The Angels' designated hitter drilled the pitch over the temporary scoreboard atop the left-center field fence and well out into the parking area beyond.

Barr returned the favor in the Baltimore sixth, getting an 0-1 pitch to DeCines out over the plate. DeCinces homer did not go as far as Baylor's, but third baseman's eight round-tripper tied the score at 3.

That it remained that way into the seventh is a tribute to Stone. He struck out Anderson to strand two Angels in the fourth. In the sixth, after Oriole center fielder Al Bumbry's two-base error put Willie Aikens at third with no one out, Stone got Brian Downing to pop up and struck out Rudi with an offspeed breaking ball. Then DeCinces helped out with an excellent play on Harlow's slow roller up the third base line.

In the seventh, however, the Angels played long-ball again. Grich, hitless in his first three at-bats, hit his 18th home run with Anderson on base. Then Baylor belted his second of the might with Ford on.