Jones homers twice to back Norris as O’s win over Angels

In the last three games of the Orioles road trip, Adam Jones has hit three homers. Each one gave his team the lead.

Jones hit a pair of two-run homers tonight and Bud Norris pitched well against Los Angeles again as the Orioles beat the Angels 4-2 at Angel Stadium.

With their eighth win in 12 games and 12th in the last 17 games, the Orioles improved to 54-44 and moved to four games ahead of both New York and Toronto atop the American League East.

Los Angeles had won 12 of its last 14 games. At home the Angels had won 14 of 16, 20 of 23 and 25 of 30 heading into this series. They have won 10 home series in a row.

In the top of the first, Nick Markakis led off the game with a single off right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Jones gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead after turning on a 93 mph fastball for his 18th homer.

Of Jones’ 18 homers to that point, nine have come in the first inning.

After Los Angeles tied the game with single runs in the first and fourth, Jones broke the tie again. His two-run shot in the sixth scored Markakis, who had doubled. Markakis’ double ended a run where Shoemaker had retired 15 Orioles in a row. Jones’ second homer was No. 19 and came on a 1-1 pitch, which was an 83 mph slider. He has nine RBIs in the last three games and 63 for the season.

Jones’ second homer was calculated at 443 feet, his longest of the season.

This was Jones’ second multi-homer game of the year and fifth of his career. He homered twice on May 7 at Tampa Bay. In 31 games since June 9, Jones has nine home runs.

The Orioles have hit seven homers in the four games on this road trip. The homers tonight offset the fact that the Orioles struck out 15 times.

Norris went 6 2/3 innings allowing eight hits and two runs (one earned) with two walks and eight strikeouts. Norris pitched out of a big jam in the fourth and ended the inning with a called third strike of Mike Trout with the bases loaded. He is now 8-6 with an ERA of 3.78.

Norris improves to 4-0 with an ERA of 0.52 in five career starts against the Angels.

Zach Britton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 17th save. He took a shot off his right arm facing Erick Aybar leading off the inning, but got him out, stayed in the game and retired the last two hitters.

Now 2-2 on this 10-game road trip, the O’s play in Anaheim again Tuesday night when Miguel Gonzalez (4-5, 4.04 ERA) faces right-hander Hector Santiago (2-7, 4.32 ERA).

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