During Ubaldo Jimenez’s highly-anticipated Orioles debut on Wednesday night, the right-hander showed the home crowd at Camden Yards flashes of why the Orioles signed him to most lucrative deal given a free-agent starting pitcher in club history.

He painted the outside part of the plate with his fastball against a patient Boston Red Sox batting order and recorded six strikeouts – four of them looking – the first two times through the order against the defending World Champions.

But with one pitch, Jimenez received a rough introduction to the rigors of pitching in the American League East in a 6-2 Orioles loss to the Red Sox in front of an announced 25,708 at Camden Yards.

Jimenez -- who allowed just one home run over his final 12 starts of last season in helping the Cleveland Indians push to the postseason – yielded two homers in his Orioles debut, including a game-winning two-run shot to first baseman Mike Napoli in the fifth inning.

Jimenez – who signed a four-year, $50 million deal in February – allowed four runs on five hits over six innings with three walks on a night when he didn’t get much help from the vaunted Orioles offense.

“He pitches like that all year, he'll win his share of games," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Jimenez was one pitch away from getting out of the fifth inning tied at 2, but he hung an 0-2 fastball that Napoli crushed over the wall in straight-away center field.

“I would definitely like to have that back,” Jimenez said. “Big mistake. I was trying to go away and left it right down the middle.

In the second inning, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz turned on an inside 1-1 fastball for a two-run homer onto the flag court beyond right field.

“I was pitching [well] besides those two pitches,” Jimenez said. “The one to David, that was a good pitch. It seems like he was looking for that pitch and he hit it good. ... I have to work on getting the ball down. I had too many fly balls and I have to fix it that right away.

“You always want to win,” Jimenez added. “It doesn’t matter if it is your first time or last one or in mid-season. You always want to win. But it is part of the game. That’s how it goes. I still have 30 more games to go. I have to get ready for my next one.”

In five career starts against the Red Sox, Jimenez is 1-3 with a 10.27 ERA.

Meanwhile, the Orioles were handcuffed by Red Sox right-hander John Lackey, who held Baltimore to three hits over six innings. His only blemish was Nelson Cruz’s game-tying two-run homer in the fourth inning – Cruz’s second homer in as many games as an Oriole.

“He threw strikes and located,” catcher Matt Wieters said of Lackey. “He was able to sort of cut the ball in and out. He located all night. Seemed like we were down 0-2 before we could get a pitch over the middle to hit.”

Cruz – who was signed to complement the Orioles' offense – has essentially been the Orioles’ offense through two games.

After hitting the game-winning homer  -- a seventh-inning solo shot  -- in Monday’s season opener, Cruz hit a two-run opposite-field shot on Wednesday to tie the game at 2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Cruz took a high 0-2 fastball from Lackey and planted it just over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field.

Cruz, who is a career .353 hitter against the Red Sox, has both driven in and scored three of the Orioles' four runs in their first two games of the season against Boston.

The Orioles (1-1) didn’t have an at bat with a runner in scoring position all night.

“[We’ve faced] two good pitchers, two of the better pitchers in the American League last year,” Showalter said of facing Boston’s Jon Lester and Lackey in the first two games. “But our guys don't look at that as an excuse not to do well.