Boston Red Sox's Mike Lowell (25) congratulates David Ortiz after Ortiz hit a home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-1.(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Daisuke Matsuzaka hasn’t really had the best of seasons this year with the Boston Red Sox.

Dice-K had dominated in the WBC for the second time but was far from that pitcher with the Red Sox and definitely not the same one who won 18 games the previous season. He went on the DL in April only to return there again in mid-June.

On Tuesday night, Red Sox fans were treated to the Dice-K that was talked about when he signed with the Red Sox. He went six scoreless innings to help them to a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in front of 37,942 at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox improve to 85-58 and are now 6.5 games behind the New York Yankees who lost to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Texas Rangers also lost on Tuesday night to the Oakland A’s and are now 5.5 games behind the Red Sox in the wild card standings. The Red  Sox magic number is now at 14 games for a playoff spot.

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, left, takes Daisuke Matsuzaka out of the baseball game in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)This was a different Matsuzaka then we’ve seen before. He relied more on his fastball than he ever has before in a Red Sox uniform. His offspeed stuff was outstanding for the most part as well. The difference was he didn’t nibble at the corners. He just threw strikes.

That’s not to say he didn’t find himself in trouble in spots. But unlike earlier in the season, he was able to work out of any jam he created. He gave up just three hits and walked three while recording five strikeouts on 96 pitches. He left to a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful.

Ramon Ramirez struck out one in an inning while Billy Wagner allowed a hit and had a strikeout in 2/3 of an inning. Daniel Bard retired the only batter he faced. In a non-save situation, Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run on two hits and also had a strikeout.

John Lackey was equal to the task for the Angels. But for him, his undoing was his throwing error on a Dustin Pedroia fielder’s choice that allowed Alex Gonzalez to score from second and moved Jacoby Ellsbury over to third. David Ortiz would bring in Ellsbury and that’s all the Red Sox bullpen needed.

Big Papi added a solo home run, a long bomb to center, in the 8th to add an insurance run after J.D. Drew brought in Jason Bay with a single.  Both Ellsbury and Ortiz finished the night with two hits. Ortiz drove in two of the four runs on the night for the Red Sox.

Paul Byrd will look to help the Red Sox to their seventh straight win on Wednesday night. He’ll be opposed by lefty Joe Saunders.