Jonathan Papelbon will return to Fenway Park on Monday for the first time since leaving for Philadelphia as a free agent following the 2011 campaign. The Phillies wouldn't mind seeing him pitch before the same fans that cheered for him for seven years.
Should Papelbon -- Boston's all-time saves leader with 219 -- toe the rubber in Boston on Monday or Tuesday, there's a good chance the Phillies are holding a lead. That's the position Philadelphia aspires to be in as Charlie Manuel's club attempts to inch its way back to the .500 mark for the first time since April 14. The Phillies fell short in their bid to even their record on Sunday, when Washington's Stephen Strasburg shut down their offense.
On Monday, Philadelphia will face right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who gets the call after Clay Buchholz was scratched with irritation in his collarbone and AC joint. Aceves will have big shoes to fill: Boston is 9-1 when Buchholz makes a start, and the right-hander has fashioned a 7-0 record and 1.73 ERA, with nine quality starts in his 10 outings.
"There's no real concern or harm to the throwing shoulder, but it's irritating enough that he doesn't feel 100 percent and really precautionary, more than anything," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Buchholz. "We've backed him out of it."
Aceves has compiled an 8.20 ERA in six appearances (three starts) this season. He hasn't started a game since April 23, when he surrendered eight runs (seven earned) in a 13-0 loss to Oakland.
Philadelphia starter Tyler Cloyd has yet to encounter the Red Sox in any of his eight career starts. Cloyd -- 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts this year -- did, however, grow up a Red Sox fan, despite living in Nebraska.
"To go there and actually be able to pitch, it's going to be fun," Cloyd said. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll go there and keep going with this success."
Cloyd has excelled at the big league level this season after racking up a 6.57 ERA in 38 1/3 innings at Triple-A Lehigh Valley to open the year. The 26-year-old said he has done a better job keeping the ball down in the zone.
"Just staying taller on the mound and getting a good angle down toward the plate," Cloyd said. "That's really been helping me stay down in the zone. When I create angle, I create more movement on my ball, which is a big thing for me. That's been the biggest adjustment I've had to make."
Phillies: More on Cloyd
• Cloyd has yet to surrender a home run in the big leagues this season. He allowed nine of them at Triple-A and eight in 33 innings for the Phillies last season. So what's the difference for the right-hander?
"My biggest problem is I like to pull off pitches and occasionally collapse my back side, and if I do either one of those things, the ball stays up in the zone and not as much movement comes on the ball," Cloyd said. "I can see the results on the pitch if I do it, so that's one of the biggest things I've learned about myself, is recognizing what the pitches have done and get it corrected."
• Ryan Howard did not start Sunday's series finale in Washington due to a sore left knee, and Manuel didn't know if the slugger would start Monday in Boston.
Red Sox: Morales expected back Tuesday
• Southpaw Franklin Morales is likely to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. Morales experienced back trouble during Spring Training and a left pec injury after that. He's expected to join Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow as the left-handers in Boston's bullpen.
• The Red Sox took two of three from the Phillies last season. Philadelphia claimed two of the three meetings in 2011.
• Monday's contest will mark Boston's first Interleague game this season.