BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles were stinging from two lopsided losses to the Los Angeles Angels when the rain finally relented Sunday and the teams took the field for the final game of the weekend series at Camden Yards.
The nearly three-hour delay and the unseasonable chill didn’t figure to make this day any more pleasant than the previous two nights, but left-hander John Means chased the clouds away — at least figuratively — with a strong six-inning performance, and the Orioles hammered out a 5-1 victory before an announced Mother’s Day crowd of 16,387.
Orioles pitchers had been victimized by two-time MVP Mike Trout on Friday night and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Albert Pujols on Saturday, but Baltimore swung back with four home runs in an offensive performance that featured contributions from the top of the lineup to the bottom.
Chris Davis returned to the cleanup spot for the first time since Aug. 27 and was quick to celebrate with a home run off rookie starting pitcher Griffin Canning in the second inning. It was Davis’s fifth homer of the year and second of the series.
Rookie Stevie Wilkerson also hit a solo homer in the second inning to give Means a two-run lead before he had surrendered his first hit, which came just minutes later when Trout hit a towering home run to center field to lead off the third.
This time, however, the Orioles made sure things were different from the first two games, during which they answered early home runs in kind before watching the Angels pull away. It would be Baltimore pulling away to help assure Means of his fifth victory.
Dwight Smith Jr. gave him room to breathe with a two-run homer in the third, and Pedro Severino launched a two-out solo shot in the sixth. It was Smith’s eighth homer of the year and increased his team-leading RBI total to 27. It was the fifth for Severino.
Means gave up a run on four hits over six innings, dropping his ERA to 2.33 — by far the best in the Orioles’ rotation. But he said he wasn’t pleased with his fastball command.
“I was lucky that I could throw my change-up and slider for strikes, and that really helped me,” he said.