Victoria's Chris Tremain made the most of a more bowler-friendly wicket to take 7-82 and put the visitors in a strong position after two days.
Victoria's first innings ended on 392 when Sam Harper was dismissed for 38 early in the day and the Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors replied with intent, moving at a run a ball leading up to lunch.
However, despite all batsmen making a start, none did better than second-gamer Josh Philippe's 62.
WA ended its innings all out for 302 - 90 runs short on the first innings - before Victoria had an hour to bat before stumps.
The Warriors made a crucial breakthrough in that time, with first innings centurion Travis Dean falling for 28 when caught behind off Andrew Tye.
Marcus Harris will enter Day 3 not out on 31 alongside nightwatchman Peter Siddle, who is yet to score.
It was a seesawing day for WA.
Every time the hosts appeared to be steadying in their innings, they lost a wicket, with Tremain exploiting a good length and finding assistance in the air and from the pitch.
Philippe top-scored with 62, while Ashton Turner scored 44, Marcus Stoinis 33, Ashton Agar 32 and Josh Inglis 20.
The difference between the two innings was the Warriors lacking a batsman that went on with his innings, after Dean struck 111 for the Bushrangers on Day 1.