Boston Red Sox's Daisuke Matsuzaka is congratulated by his team-mates after being relieved in the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, California  July 19, 2010.

Whenever Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the mound for the Boston Red Sox, it’s like playing craps. You’re hoping for a winning roll but your chance of winning are left in the shooter’s hands. Translate that to baseball and you’re giving the ball to Dice-K hoping for the best and praying that he doesn’t lose.

Even during his 18 win season in 2008, Dice-K would give us a scare here and there. The one thing he was lacking was his consistency on the mound. He’s shown flashes of it this year but other than a few times hasn’t been able to put it all together.

Last night in the 2-1 win over the Oakland A’s, Dice-K showed that if he attacks the strike zone CONSISTENTLY, good things will happen.

He threw 62 of his 89 pitches for strikes in 6 2/3 innings, picking up six strikeouts along the way. He allowed just one run on two hits and two walks. The one bad pitch he made last night was a hanging slider to Rajai Davis who proceeded to hit it out of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Other than that pitch, it was actually enjoyable to watch Dice-K pitch. When he attacks the strike zone like he did last night, we’re getting a look at the real Dice-K, you know the one the Red Sox invested $103.1 million in. This was the Dice-K who led Japan to WBC titles and picked up two MVP’s of the WBC in the process.

If he can continue to do this, it’s going to help the Red Sox during the last 2 1/2 months of the season especially with Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett rejoining the rotation.

Offensively it was a quiet night for the Red Sox who got their runs on a David Ortiz sacrifice fly after an Eric Patterson triple and Adrian Beltre’s solo home run on a mistake pitch from A’s starter Ben Sheets.

We’ll be back tonight with the starting lineups, batter/pitcher matchups, any news and links from the day but for now, enjoy the overnight links after the jump.

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With Dice, Sox rotation is suddenly loaded [Alex Speier-]

Red Sox silence Athletics [Boston Globe]

Value of Cash has its limits [Boston Globe]

Deadline decisions on deck [Boston Globe]

Recap: Red Sox 2, A’s 1 [Boston Herald]

Trade prospects a sore subject [Boston Herald]

Jonathan Papelbon savors situation [Boston Herald]

Daisuke Matsuzaka unpredictably masterful [Boston Herald]

Playing it smart [Boston Herald]

Sox pour Cash into defense [Boston Herald]

Matsuzaka leads Sox past A’s, 2-1 [CSN New England]

Sox Notebook: Lowell receives shot; Full Red Sox injury report [CSN New England]

Papelbon, Bard a deadly combination [ESPN Boston]

Dice-K has his A-game vs. Oakland [ESPN Boston]

Beltre contemplates (sort of) the future [Full Count]

Daisuke Matsuzaka Gives Red Sox Just What They Need in Narrow 2-1 Victory []

Should Red Sox Try to Reacquire A’s Outfielder Coco Crisp? []

Mike Lowell Receives Hip Injection, Will DH for PawSox Thursday []

Coco Crisp Compares Playing in Boston to His Experience in Oakland []

For Red Sox, there’s an awful lot riding on this West Coast swing [Providence Journal]

Red Sox’ fill-in catchers have been punchless at the plate [Providence Journal]

Rehabbing Hermida working on rediscovering his hitter’s eye [Providence Journal]

Red Sox downplay interest in Chris Iannetta [Providence Journal]

In minor-league rehab stint, Lowrie is showing flashes of his old promise [Providence Journal]

Red Sox missing production from catchers []

Lowell ready to start rehab assignment []

Dice-K stays hot, shuts down A’s []

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal and WEEI websites.

And if you must read the enemy papers, you can check out the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News websites.

Photo credit: Reuters Pictures