Nelson Cruz didn't exactly have a relaxing off day in his new city Tuesday — he spent most of the afternoon looking for a place to live.
"It's been two days of trying to find the right place," said Cruz, who signed a one-year deal with the Orioles this February after playing eight seasons with the Texas Rangers. "I am still looking, but I found a couple places. We haven't decided what we are going to do yet."
In his first game Monday as an Oriole, Cruz was the Opening Day hero, belting a seventh-inning home run that broke a 1-1 tie and gave his club an eventual 2-1 victory over the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Cruz also homered in the fourth inning Wednesday to tie the game at 2-2.
On his travels around Baltimore on Tuesday, he said he was recognized and congratulated by a few people, including a worker in a restaurant and a parking garage attendant.
"Two or three guys stopped me and said something and recognized me. It was good," Cruz said. "I don't know what to expect here yet. If you ask me in two weeks or a month, I can tell you. Right now, I'm just taking in the moment and figuring out what's going on."
Cruz became the 25th Oriole in club history to homer in his first game with the team. He was the first to do it in an Opening Day Orioles debut since Cesar Izturis in 2009.
"It was special. Always when you are in a new place, new teammates, you want to do good right away," Cruz said. "And what better way than to give your team the lead?"
There was some intrigue as to how Orioles fans would react to Cruz, who was suspended for 50 games last year while with the Rangers due to his inclusion in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing-drug scandal.
But if there were any boos in his first two games at Camden Yards, it was impossible to tell due to the overwhelming chants of "Cruuuz."
Manager Buck Showalter said he's not sure what the typical fan thinks of Cruz, but he assumes the reaction is different in Baltimore because the suspension did not happen while he was an Oriole.
"You'd have to ask them. Everyone has their own feelings on the subject," Showalter said. "It would be interesting to see what the reaction would be if it happened here, which you don't expect and wont happen, hopefully.
"But that'd be the question I'd ask: What would be the response if it happened here? I think in today's world, none of us would like to have our lives judged by our worst decision — including me."
Showalter said he believes Cruz has said and done all the right things since last season.
"I can't speak for other people, but I think Nelson's pretty sincere about it," Showalter said. "Going to try and go forward with it instead of looking back. But [the positive welcome] doesn't surprise me with our fans."
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