BALTIMORE, JULY 25 -- The Baltimore Orioles can take solace that it took a brilliant pitching performance by one of the American League's best to bring them back to earth.

Kansas City's Charlie Leibrandt stopped the Orioles' winning streak at 11 with a two-hitter as the Royals beat Baltimore, 4-0, before 28,478 at Memorial Stadium.

It was fitting that the Royals ended Baltimore's streak, since Kansas City provided the Orioles with seven of their 11 successive victories.

Leibrandt (10-8) faced only three batters above the minimum in beating Ken Dixon (3-8).

"I had pretty good control of my stuff," Leibrandt said. "We got off to a good start. We scored first. If we had gotten behind, the guys might have started pressing."

Orioles Manager Cal Ripken Sr. wasn't around to see his club's first loss since July 11, having been ejected in the sixth by plate umpire Tim Welke.

Ripken went to the mound after Dixon fell behind, 1-0, to Larry Owen in the top of the sixth. Welke, walking toward the mound while Ripken was talking to Dixon, apparently didn't like what he heard.

"I was telling {Dixon}, 'You've gotta throw over the plate, because the umpire's not going to give you the pitch on the outside part of the plate,' " Ripken recounted.

When he reached the mound, seconds later, Welke threw out Ripken.

"That's not right," Ripken said. "That's a bad mistake when the umpire throws you out for telling the pitcher to throw strikes."

Although Ripken was pleased overall with Dixon's performance ("Kenny only gave them three runs; that's what we want"), Dixon was not.

"I feel somewhat cheated because I'm the one who gave up the winning streak," Dixon said. "I'm not content with my performance. I didn't think I pitched that well."

Dixon gave up singles to George Brett and Jim Eisenreich in the first but struck out Frank White to end the threat. Danny Tartabull led off the second with a double but did not advance, as Dixon struck out Angel Salazar and Owen.

In the top of the third, Dixon fell behind Lonnie Smith. One pitch later, Smith hit his first homer of the season, to right-center, and Kansas City had a 1-0 lead.

Smith said the pitch was a fastball. "He threw some pitches in good locations that I fouled off all day," Smith said.

"It was a good pitch, down and away," Dixon said. "He got that ball just when the wind was blowing right. It carried a little."

Dixon has yielded a team-high 22 homers this season despite spending time at Class AAA Rochester.

In the fifth, Smith led off with a single to left. Third baseman Bill Pecota followed with a single to center on a hit-and-run that just cleared second baseman Bill Ripken's glove, and Brett lined a single to left that gave Kansas City a two-run lead.

Leibrandt sailed through the first four innings, not allowing so much as a fly ball. In the first, he struck out Alan Wiggins and Cal Ripken Jr., in the fourth Larry Sheets and Ken Gerhart.

"I was able to keep key guys off the bases before Murray and Ripken came up to hit," Leibrandt said.

The Orioles were unhappy with Welke's ball and strike calls throughout. Ripken Jr. argued his strikeout in the first, and Murray argued his in the fifth, pointing his bat at Welke as he walked back to the dugout.

Things came to a head in the top of the sixth, after Tartabull walked and scored on Salazar's bloop single to give the Royals a 3-0 lead.

Welke called ball one on Owen, and Ripken went out to the mound.

"He told me the usual stuff. Concentrate. Throw strikes," Dixon said.

Within five seconds, Welke gave Ripken his fourth early exit of the season. Then Ripken voiced his opinion passionately for about five minutes.

Leibrandt didn't give up a hit over the first 5 1/3 innings. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Gerhart fisted a grounder to left before Wiggins hit into a double play to end the inning.

Acting manager Frank Robinson brought in Doug Corbett after Smith opened the seventh with a walk. Corbett later started a 1-6-3 double play on his knees after fielding a hard grounder by Eisenreich.

In the Baltimore seventh, Ripken Jr. walked with one out but Murray hit into a 5-6-3 double play.

After Gerhart's hit, Leibrandt only allowed a walk to Ray Knight and a two-out single by Bill Ripken in the ninth. Smith (four for five, two RBI) finished matters aptly, driving in Owen in the ninth for Kansas City's fourth run.

Orioles Notes:

Baltimore's bullpen was 3-0 with four saves and a 1.82 earned run average during the 11-game winning streak, giving up only one run.