Will Dice-K ride to the rescue?

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Whether he was tipping pitches or not, the John Smoltz experiment didn’t work out in Boston. The same could be said for Brad Penny.

But help might be on the way, and not a moment too soon.

Daisuke Matsuzaka dazzled in his rehab appearance in a Gulf Coast League game on Monday, tossing three scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing only one hit.

And amazingly — for a guy who nibbles more than John Kruk — he needed only 37 pitches to get through the three innings. From the Globe:

“Everything was pretty good,” Francona said. “Good breaking ball. He commanded his fastball and stayed down. He had good changeups. Generally, really positive.”

Dice-K will make a Double-A start on Thursday, and could return to the Red Sox as early as Sept. 8.

In other Red Sox pitching news, Paul Byrd is toiling away at Triple-A Pawtucket. Not sure how much help Boston can expect on the Byrd front, however. His minor league line, in Pawtucket and the Gulf Coast League? 0-2, 5.73 ERA, 1.54 WHIP in three starts.

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