BOSTON -- Jair Jurrjens' return to the big leagues was a well-timed, splendid performance.
Recalled from the minors to make his first major league start since late April, Jurrjens pitched a solid 7 2/3 innings, and the Atlanta Braves halted Boston's five-game winning streak Friday night with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox.
Jurrjens, an All-Star last season, missed all of September with a strained right knee, then struggled in April. He was demoted April 23 after going 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in four starts.
"It wasn't confidence," he said of his trip to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he went 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 10 starts. "It was strength. I wasn't able to push off like I wanted to. It was a lot of hard work to regain the strength."
After the Braves lost solid righty Brandon Beachy to a season-ending elbow injury, manager Fredi Gonzalez felt as if Jurrjens' return was much needed.
"JJ was a big lift for us," he said. "Big time. Big time. They all know Beachy was a big pitcher for us, and he goes down with Tommy John surgery. It was a really big lift."
Braves catcher Brian McCann added, "To get him back to the velocity where he needs to be, that's a great sign for us. It was great to see him back."
Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs, and Jason Heyward went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs for the Braves, who just took two of three from the Yankees in New York.
Atlanta has won three straight after losing seven of eight.
The Red Sox (36-34) failed to go a season-high four games over .500.
Jon Lester (4-5) took the loss, allowing three runs on 10 hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.
"A lot of really good pitches that got hit," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Lester. "I thought he threw the ball extremely well. He could have won that game very easily."
Jurrjens (1-2) held Boston to one single over seven innings before Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava chased him with doubles in the eighth. He allowed one run, three hits and one walk while striking out four.
The Braves led 2-0 before they added a run in the sixth when Heyward doubled, advanced on a flyout on scored on Simmons' sacrifice fly. Freddie Freeman's RBI single made it 4-1 against Mark Melancon in the ninth.
Nava's RBI double -- off the Green Monster -- cut it to 3-1 in the eighth, but Chad Durbin got Dustin Pedroia to ground out to end the inning. Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs for his 21st save in 22 chances.
"One of the few mistakes that he made all game. Will got a big hit, a double, and then Nava came up and drove him in. Other than that, he was lights out," Boston outfielder Cody Ross said of Jurrjens. "Just commanding his fastball, getting some early swings on his changeups and pitched really well. Pitched better than he has in a while, I'm sure."
That he did. A lot better, and at the right time for the Braves.
The Braves broke a scoreless game with a pair of fourth-inning runs off Lester. Freeman led off with a single and advanced on Heyward's double off the Green Monster. Matt Diaz followed with a run-scoring grounder before Simmons doubled into the left-field corner, making it 2-0.
Unlike the previous two nights, it was back to cooler temperatures at game time -- though it took a heavy thunderstorm that delayed the start 1 hour, 14 minutes. The temperature was 74 at the start after two nights of 90s.
When it got going, Lester and Jurrjens both looked sharp.
After having a fairly easy opening two innings, Lester gave up six hits over the next three and had his pitch count climb to 95 after five.
Lester had held the Braves to a pair of two-out singles in the opening two innings before he gave up consecutive two-out singles to Martin Prado and McCann in the third. The lefty then ended the threat by getting Dan Uggla to fly to right.
Atlanta then scored its two runs in the fourth.
Jurrjens, recalled earlier in the day, had a sharp changeup that kept Boston's batters off balance in his first few innings. He fanned a pair and only gave up Adrian Gonzalez's two-out, first-inning single over the first three frames.
Gonzalez, mired in a 5-for-36 slump, had a solid opposite-field hit.
NOTES: Former Red Sox right-hander Roger Clemens, recently acquitted of charges that he lied to Congress, was seated in the first row of Green Monster seats. There was a mixture boos and cheers when he was shown on the center-field board and "Welcome Back, Roger Clemens" was under a shot of him, but he could also be seen signing autographs. ... Beachy had Tommy John surgery Thursday. He was 5-5 with a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts before being lost for the season. ... Red Sox outfielder Jason Repko (left shoulder sprain) came off the 60-day disabled list Friday and was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Heyward came in swinging a hot bat after going 5 for 11 with two homers in the previous series against the Yankees. ... Valentine decided to go back to hot rookie Middlebrooks for the second straight day after he hit a game-tying homer and drove in four runs in Thursday's win over Miami. "Today, I'm riding the hot hand," Valentine said. "Tomorrow might not be the case. I always reserve the right to change my mind." It was the first time Kevin Youkilis was out of the lineup for two straight days since coming off the DL in late May