Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/19/12

He wasn't going to sit there and lie about this being just another set of three games during the long grind of 162 during the regular season.

No, Jonathan Papelbon and his self-described alter ego -- "Cinco Ocho" -- had known the exact date and time that his old Boston Red Sox teammates would make their way to Citizens Bank Park.

"I've been looking forward to this series since the day that I signed here," the Phillies closer said.

Maybe that's why Papelbon's fist pump after striking out Nick Punto on Friday night seemed pronounced as he and the Phillies drew first blood with a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox Friday night.

"It was just, kind of just a ballgame where Cole (Hamels) pitched great and for me, as a closer, I want to go out there and try to preserve all the wins I can for my starters," Papelbon said. "For me, I take a little extra pride in that. That's basically what it boils down to for me."

It helped Philadelphia extend its season long winning streak to six games. The Phils are now 7-1 since manager Charlie Manuel called a team meeting following a three-game sweep at home against the New York Mets.

"Shoot, yeah. He's the skipper. He runs the ship," Papelbon said when asked if the meeting did anything to spark the otherwise dormant Phillies. "You tell me. We started winning games after that didn't we? … I think the facts (speak) for themselves."

Papelbon's afternoon was highlighted by a 10-minute press conference where he talked to both Philadelphia and Boston reporters about his time with the Red Sox -- which saw him achieve the highest of highs in closing out the 2007 World Series and the low of being the man walking off the mound following Boston's epic collapse at the end of last year.

"I'm proud of the championships we won there and an organization that taught me how to play in the big leagues," Papelbon said pre-game. "I'm proud of playing for a manager (in former Boston skipper Terry Francona) taught me how to be a man, how to accept failure and accept winning. There's a lot of memories and good people."

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