BOSTON (AP) - Jonathan Papelbon returned to Fenway Park on Monday night. And the chances are good that "Cinco Ocho" will be making an appearance during the series as well.
"He's probably going to love it," the former Red Sox reliever said of his alter-ego, a nickname he gave himself because of his uniform No. 58. "He's probably going to be pretty hyped."
The colorful closer returned to Fenway for the first time since he left the Red Sox for the Phillies.
Papelbon, who saved the last three games of Boston's 2007 World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies, said his only goal in signing with Philadelphia after the 2011 season was to win.
"Hopefully I'll be received well, but I'll understand if I'm not," he told reporters in the visitor's dugout before the game. "Hopefully, the fans will understand that I just wanted to win, and that's all I wanted to do when I was here."
Papelbon had 219 saves in 248 opportunities with a 2.33 ERA for Boston from 2005-11. He left as a free agent as soon as he was eligible, signing a four year deal for $50,000,058.
That meant he missed last year's last-place finish, when the Red Sox went 69-93 under Bobby Valentine in his only year as the Boston manager.
"I've moved on," Papelbon said. "Boston was a great city for me. I had a great time here, but I've moved on. I really didn't play much attention to the Red Sox."
The Red Sox welcomed Papelbon back with a scoreboard tribute that showed many of his highlights in Boston, including his celebration after getting the last out in the '07 Series. Other shots showed Papelbon spraying champagne and dancing in a kilt at the victory parade.
The crowd gave him a big cheer, and Papelbon saluted from the dugout.
"It's an absolute thrill to be here at this park again and hopefully get on the mound and pitch," he said. "I think this is one of my all-time favorite mounds to pitch off."