Cruz gives Orioles lead, Britton gives them sinking feeling

Nelson Cruz just delivered his Welcome to Baltimore moment.

Cruz homered on the first pitch from Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester leading off the bottom of the seventh, the ball easily clearing the left field fence to break a 1-1 tie.

Cruz is 1-for-2 with a walk today and is 11-for-24 with three homers and five RBIs lifetime against Lester.

Yes, he's Cruzing. Or he's on Cruz control. Take your pick.

Zach Britton tossed two scoreless innings in relief of starter Chris Tillman, allowing one hit and getting six groundball outs. Evan Meek replaced him in the top of the eighth.

Third baseman Ryan Flaherty handled three of the grounders. Britton, shortstop J.J. Hardy and first baseman Chris Davis also got into the act.

The sinker must have been working today.

Britton allowed one earned run in 10 2/3 spring innings, with four walks and 11 strikeouts. No one on the staff was more impressive.

Meek was no slouch, of course, allowing one run and two hits, walking none and striking out 10 in nine innings.

Meek didn't pitch in the majors last season, working his way back from shoulder surgery with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.

Today's attendance: 46,685. That's the 23rd straight opening day sellout at Camden Yards.

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