Orioles 4, Red Sox 1

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BALTIMORE (AP)—Dave Borkowski knew he would have to be near perfect to get the best of Boston right-hander Curt Schilling.

As it turned out, Schilling was the one who couldn’t come up with enough zeros to keep his team in the game.

Borkowski took a two-hitter into the eighth inning, and Javy Lopez hit two homers off Schilling to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Facing a torrid-hitting club that scored 39 runs on 52 hits in its previous four games, Borkowski (2-2) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked none in a brilliant—and unexpected—performance.

Borkowski, who entered with a 3-11 career record, last pitched in the majors in 2001 before being called up from the minors earlier this month. The right-hander permitted only one runner past second base in getting the best of Schilling, whose four-game winning streak ended.

“No doubt, you know he’s not going to give up a lot of runs, he’s just that good,” Borkowski said of Schilling. “Thankfully, Javy hits the first home run. That helped relax me a little bit.”

Lopez hit a solo homer in the fifth to break the scoreless duel, then added a two-run shot in the seventh to make it 4-0. It was his 22nd career two-homer game.

“What can I say about that except it’s a great feeling?” Lopez said.

Schilling (12-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings, striking out two and walking none. He was 8-1 with a 3.61 ERA in his last 12 starts, and unbeaten in seven starts since June 16.

On this night, however, the right-hander simply wasn’t as good as the other guy.

“Dave was awesome,” Schilling said. “It was a game where I was going to have to outpitch him, and it didn’t happen. Our offense generally scores a lot of runs for everybody. But he pitched a fantastic game tonight.”

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli lifted Borkowski after Kevin Millar led off the eighth with a single. B.J. Ryan entered and struck out Jason Varitek and Bill Mueller before retiring Gabe Kapler on a grounder.

Ryan gave up a solo homer to David Ortiz in the ninth, but completed the inning and the four-hitter. It was the first home run that Ryan allowed to a left-hander since Sept. 22, 2002, when Cliff Floyd connected for the Red Sox.

The victory enabled the Orioles to earn a split of the rain-shortened two-game series and end Boston’s three-game winning streak.

The majority of the credit goes to Borkowski, who was summoned from Triple-A Ottawa on July 5 to make one start. But he pitched well that night, limiting Tampa Bay to two runs in 8 1-3 innings, and the Orioles decided to keep him around.

Smart move.

“Oh what a job he did tonight, especially against this offense,” Mazzilli said. “It was pretty impressive. He really mixed up his pitches, which is what you have to against a club like that.”

Both starters were sharp at the outset. Borkowski retired the first 10 batters before Nomar Garciaparra lined a single up the middle in the fourth. Millar followed with a groundout and Varitek struck out.

Schilling yielded a leadoff single to Brian Roberts in the first, then retired 13 straight before Lopez put the Orioles up 1-0 with his 13th homer, a drive into the left-field seats.

“When they score one, you don’t think that’s going to hold up. I thought we’d come back and get him,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “But we just didn’t do much.”

Mueller led off Boston’s sixth with a double, but Borkowski got three successive outs to keep the Red Sox scoreless.

“In the top of the sixth we had our first legitimate chance, but he made his pitches,” Schilling said.

Baltimore added a run in the bottom half when Jerry Hairston hit a leadoff double, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Luis Lopez.

Notes

Luis Lopez, who came in 5-for-9 lifetime against Schilling, went 0-for-2 with an RBI against the right-hander. … Varitek and Manny Ramirez both struck out three times. … Schilling is 7-0 at home and 5-5 on the road.

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