Orioles Opening Day live blog (Orioles win 2-1)

BALTIMORE - Baseball nerds make jokes after Opening Day as to which teams are undefeated or in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Well, the Orioles are undefeated. And they'd be in ... just sayin'.

It took a Nelson Cruz homer and a nail-biting save from Tommy Hunter, but Baltimore beat Boston 2-1 in the season opener and started the year right in the eyes of Orioles Nation.

Here's a little what manager Buck Showalter had to say:

"Obviously, you play the game with emotion. It's kind of like spring training and the first day of the season, there are certain parts that people grow up with, and it's the start of something. A lot of emotion there. Sometimes, it can almost be counter-productive, too, as far as playing, but you get to the point where you just want the game to start. You've got some really nice moments before the game."

For complete coverage from Opening Day, be sure to check our website later tonight and grab a copy of Tuesday's Carroll County Times.

Feel free to scroll down and look back at our blog from the day's events...


Nelson Cruz had the big hit, Tommy Hunter nailed down a save, and the Orioles beat Boston 2-1 to send 46,685 fans home happy.

Most of them, anyway.

Zach Britton got the win in relief and Jon Lester suffered a rare loss against Baltimore.

We'll have more later following the post-game press conferences.

(seven innings)

What is it about big home runs on Opening Day?

Last year it was Chris Davis' grand slam to win Baltimore's home opener. This time, Nelson Cruz gave Orioles fans something to cheer about.

His leadoff homer in the seventh, on the first pitch, put Baltimore on top of Boston 2-1 as we head to the eighth.

(five innings)

Chris Tillman is done for the day.

The Orioles' starting pitcher got through five innings and struck out four, allowing seven hits and one run.

He threw 104 pitches, 71 for strikes.

And he left with a no-decision - the Red Sox and Orioles were tied at 1 going into the sixth.

(four innings)

Jon Lester and Chris Tillman are locked in an Opening Day duel.

The Red Sox and Orioles are tied at 1 through four innings.

Grady Sizemore's home run leading off the fourth gave Boston its first run. The fly ball looked playable at first, but Nick Markakis ran out of room as it caught the wind and carried into the flag-court railing.

Tillman approaches 80 pitches as we head to the fifth.

(three innings update)

Delmon Young's double-play grounder did enough to push across Nelson Cruz in the second inning and give Baltimore the 1-0 lead.

Chris Tillman has four strikeouts and got out of a jam in the second, when Boston had two on and no outs. Cruz made a nice catch in left to keep it scoreless, and Orioles fans serenaded him with "Cruuuuuz."

Tillman escaped again in the third after a David Ortiz single and Mike Napoli double by getting Mike Carp on a swinging third strike.


Some "Bird Bits" to go with your pre-game festivities:

The Orioles are 38-22 all-time on Opening Day and have won 10 of their last 13 openers, including the last three. ... Nick Markakis will tie Al Bumbry and Melvin Mora today with his eighth Opening Day start. That's seventh most by numbers in team history. Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken are tied for the most with 20. ... Baltimore is 5-2 against Boston on Opening Day, with a 4-1 record at Camden Yards.

(2:20 p.m.)

Almost time for the pre-game ceremonies. The orange carpet is laid out in center field and between the dugout and the first-base line. Boston players are stretching in left field, getting ready for first pitch in less than an hour.

Fans are starting to fill the seating bowl.

And we've discovered a hot dog that comes with a fried egg on it.


(2:35 p.m.)

The Orioles displayed video tributes to Paul Blair, Monica Barlow, and Tom Clancy.

Blair, who died Dec. 26, 2013 at age 69, played in Baltimore for 12 seasons and won eight Gold Gloves in center field.

Barlow worked in the Orioles' public relations department for 13 years. She died in late February after long battle with lung cancer.

Clancy, a longtime member of the club's ownership team and renowned author, died Oct. 1, 2013.