BALTIMORE – The momentum the Boston Red Sox brought with them from the West Coast was no match for a rookie with a wicked sinkerball and a torrid fastball.
Zach Britton allowed one run in six innings to earn his fourth win, Derrek Lee had two hits and scored twice, and the Baltimore Orioles ended Boston's five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
Britton (4-1) became the first rookie starter in franchise history to win four games in April. He has an impressive 2.84 ERA and owns nearly half of Baltimore's nine victories this year.
On this night he outdueled Boston starter Clay Buchholz (1-3), who allowed four runs and 12 hits in 6 2-3 innings.
"Four runs with the way (Britton) was pitching was too much," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He bent but he didn't break. We just didn't have the offense tonight."
Blame Britton, who gave up five hits, walked two and struck out two.
Left-handed hitter David Ortiz, who went 1 for 2 with a walk against the rookie, said, "He's super-tough on righties. He's a young kid who just come in the league. It seems like he has good stuff. He was hitting 95 (mph)."
After splitting a pair of games in Oakland, Boston took four straight from Los Angeles and was on the verge of reaching .500 for the first time.
Britton wouldn't let it happen.
"I can see why they like him," Francona said. "He's got velocity. It looks like he's got some poise."
Adam Jones drove in two runs for the Orioles, who won for only the third time in 14 games, and Vladimir Guerrero had his first three-hit game since coming to Baltimore as a free agent during the offseason.
Buchholz never retired the side in order, but he managed to keep the Red Sox close.
"I thought I threw the ball better tonight than I did in the earlier game (against Oakland) when I got a win out of it," the right-hander said. "I felt like I was throwing all my pitches for strikes. They sat back and hit a couple of good curve balls."
Kevin Youkilis drove in the run for the Red Sox, who got only six hits.
Baltimore ended Boston's run of 19 straight scoreless innings by taking a 1-0 lead in the second. Luke Scott singled, took third on a one-out double by Mark Reynolds and scored when Matt Wieters' bouncer hit first base for a single. Buchholz then struck out Robert Andino and Brian Roberts.
The Orioles used two singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly by Jones to go up 2-0 in the third.
Boston closed to 2-1 in the fourth when Dustin Pedroia singled, advanced on a groundout, stole third and scored on a fly ball by Youkilis.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth before Adrian Gonzalez grounded into a fielder's choice.
In the bottom half, Lee and Guerrero singled before Jones hit a run-scoring fly to center. Reynolds chased Buchholz with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
NOTES: Wieters was 7 for 7 with 11 RBIs with runners in scoring position before grounding out with two on in the seventh. ... Boston starters have a 1.33 ERA over the last 10 games. ... Roberts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a sixth-inning single. ... Buchholz was 5-2 lifetime against Baltimore and 3-0 in his previous three starts at Camden Yards.