Cobb allowed three runs over a season-high 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time since Sept. 22 in Baltimore. He surrendered 10 hits for the fourth time this season.
Jonathan Schoop homered off knuckleballer Steven Wright in the seventh inning to increase the margin to three runs. The Red Sox scored an unearned run in the eighth after Trey Mancini’s error, but Brad Brach retired Mookie Betts to leave the bases loaded and Mark Trumbo followed Schoop’s two-out walk in the ninth with a big RBI double.
Machado doubled twice and followed Jones’ clutch hit with a two-run single off the Green Monster, and the Orioles’ road losing streak, tied for the longest in club history, ended at 13 games.
The Orioles are 14-30 overall and 4-17 away from home. They trail the Red Sox by 15 1/2 games in the American League East.
Machado and Betts were in elite form again tonight. Totally worth the price of admission.
Betts doubled in the first, hit a solo home run in the third and delivered an RBI double in the fifth. Andrew Benintendi’s single reduced the lead to 5-3, but Hanley Ramirez grounded into a double play.
Machado doubled in the first and third innings, and his two-run single in the fourth gave the Orioles a 5-1 lead. He leads the majors with 42 RBIs.
Betts faced Mychal Givens in the seventh after Christian Vázquez chased Cobb with a one-out double. Betts came within a few feet of another home run and worked Givens for nine pitches before grounding out. Benintendi walked, but Ramirez flied to shallow right field.
Mancini dropped Xander Bogaerts’ fly ball in the left field corner after overrunning it to put a runner in scoring position with one out in the eighth. Eduardo Núñez doubled with two down to score Bogaerts and reduce the lead to 6-4 and Brock Holt reached on an infield hit to bring Brach into the game. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland walked, but Betts popped up to Chris Davis.
Brach recorded his sixth save after stranding J.D. Martinez at second base.
Opportunities were wasted before the fourth inning. The Orioles loaded the bases in the first and settled for one run on Trumbo’s grounder. They put runners on second and third with one out in the third and didn’t score.
Davis led off the fourth with a double into right-center field and Danny Valencia followed with a single into shallow center. Valencia raced to second on the throw home, but Drew Pomeranz retired the next two batters on a shallow fly ball and pop up.
Mancini walked for the second time to load the bases and Jones, after getting ahead 2-0 in the count, lined his two-run single into left field. Machado dented the Green Monster and the Orioles made short work of Pomeranz.
The road losing streak was too long. It finally reached its breaking point.
Manager Buck Showalter on key moments: “I thought Adam’s base hit, it looked like they were getting ready to wiggle out of it, was big for us. I thought getting ahead early in the game. Something, we’ve been playing from behind a lot. I thought Mychal Givens had some key innings. Richard (Bleier) did his job. It all starts with Alex Cobb. That’s probably one of the best outings Brad’s had all year. He was sharp. Good fastball, had command of things.”
Showalter on Betts’ popup being big: “That’s kind of obvious. To me, there were a lot of other things. We kind of painted ourselves in that situation. Got to figure he’s due to make an out somewhere along the way. He’s not just picking on us. You see what he’s doing all over the league. It’s very much like what Manny’s doing.”
Showalter on Jones and Machado back-to-back hits: “Without a doubt. I thought that was key to, I don’t know if you want to say ‘morale’ or ‘momentum.’ Just to say, ‘OK, we’re going to cash these in.’ It’s not as easy as it looks, with a man on third and one out, you just go up there and ... Where we are so far in the season, guys get too much, they want to drive in two runs instead of one. I understand that. But I thought the tack-on runs were big. Trum’s double, Jonathan’s home run, trying to hit that knuckleballer.
“I love how people have theories on hitting it. They’ve never been in the box, when somebody says that. It’s like trying to hit a butterfly with a toothpick.”
Showalter on whether he’s relieved to see Cobb pitching better: “I don’t know (if) ‘relieved’ is the word. He’s pitched well. You know it will happen over a long season. I know it’s been, I don’t know about bothering him. He’s knows he’s doing everything and he knows he started out the year in some unique circumstances, but like I’ve said all along, he’s a big league professional pitcher. He gives us a good chance to win more times than not.”
Showalter on Cobb limiting damage: “I thought the double play ball was huge, obviously. It’s just picking your poison in their lineup. They’ve got so many weapons. They’ve got a couple guys in a little different world than the rest of us right now, so you just try not to have anybody on base when they hit.”
Cobb on whether he’s feeling more like himself: “I feel like I’m comfortable out there competing. I feel like there are some innings, some pitches where I’m searching for some things, but the overall comfort level on the mound, going to compete, that feels back. I feel like I have enough pitches to really induce weak contact and to navigate a lineup.
“Obviously, I would like to be a little bit sharper. I’ll continue to get sharper as I get out there and I get the work week in between. You’re not going to hear anything negative out of me today. I’m pretty excited to get that first win with this club.”
Cobb on getting first win: “I know the win is overrated and it’s kind of not looked that way anymore, but when you see a goose egg next to your name in the win column, it just kind of turns your stomach the wrong ways. It’s ugly. Baseball is a crazy game and you could have won some of those games, but I believe that when you have the ball in your hand, you have the ability to win a ballgame.
“I love the win. I love that column next to your name when you feel like you really show that you put your team in a position to win multiple nights.”
Cobb on starting and ending road losing streak: “It comes a little bit full circle. I think the fact that they’re in our division, we play them, I feel like we were just here a week ago. That time flew by that we were away from here. It’s nice to get a win in this ballpark anytime you come here. It’s such a different feeling being here, it’s a different game. It’s a tough lineup. You take the wins whenever they come.”
Cobb on Betts: “He’s impressive, very impressive. Just seems like he’s on everything. You don’t seem like you can trick him in any aspect of the game, whether it’s location, in or out, changing speeds on him. He’s just locked in and he’s where every ballplayer strives to get to, feeling like you have all the power in the world at the plate.
“He’s got more ability than anybody who puts on a uniform in this league. He’s a dangerous combination right now.”
Cobb on limiting damage: “I think whenever you go into a game and you know that you’re not going to be perfect, you strive to be, but you’re not going to be. You’re able to anticipate how you’re going to respond in those certain situations. If you let it speed up on you and you try and come outside of your delivery, what you’re naturally good at, those innings have a tendency to unravel quickly. It got to be that way in the fifth. Fortunately, I made a quality pitch and got the double play ball.”
Machado on ending road losing streak: “It’s sweet, you know? They’re a heck of a team over there. We had to battle them to the end, but to get the W was definitely huge. Hopefully, we start a nice little streak now.”
Machado on the back-to-back two-run singles in the fourth: “It’s huge. Whenever you score early and put yourself in a nice situation in the game early on against a great team like that, you’ve got to take full advantage of it. And Cobb did that. Scuffled a little bit toward the end in the sixth inning, but he got out of it huge. He did what we needed him to do, got us back in (the dugout) with the third out to hit and he gave us an opportunity to play great defense behind him. So, hopefully he can carry that on to his next start and we’re going to need him if we’re going to make a push.”
Machado on whether it’s meaningful to have a big night in Boston: “Just to have a big night in general is always huge. Coming out here, I can’t remember the last time we won a game on the road, so to come out here and try to do whatever you can to put your team in the best situation is what I’m trying to do here. Everybody is trying to do the same thing. I think we’re tired of losing and we want to mix things up and put us in a different situation.”
Machado on whether the streak wore on him: “You know, it doesn’t. We really don’t think about it, but at the end of the day it’s there. It’s just there lingering on. You try to put it aside, but once you go out there, we tried to play the best baseball we can. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. At the end of the day, we’re trying to put stuff behind us and not think about those little things like that.”
Machado on Betts: “He’s a great player. He’s going to go out there and he’s giving us tough at-bats and he’s getting on base, doing things for his ballclub like I’m doing for mine. It’s definitely fun to watch him doing his thing.
“We’re just playing baseball. We’re out there having fun. I know he is. We are on this side as well. Definitely when we’re winning, it makes it a lot better.”