Game 154: Minnesota Twins (84-69) @ California Angels (75-79)

Friday September 23, 1988

Before the game the Twins announced that Allan Anderson, yesterdays winner, had earned an extra start. With a little juggle of the rotation, Tom Kelly was able to add a game for Anderson, who is now scheduled to pitch the season finale against the Angels at the Metrodome.

On the field, things weren’t looking good for the Angels.

There are 45 seats in the front row of Anaheim Stadium’s press box, and Friday night there was room for 30 guests. Hours after California manager Cookie Rojas was fired, five of those seats were filled by working members of the media.

But as the Angels went through the motions of another meaningless game, the Twins somehow managed to ignore the silence of a crowd that saved its biggest cheers for Olympic updates. These are individual battles now, and the Twins won all of them last night in a 7-1 victory.

Charlie Lea had something to play for after missing a month, manager Tom Kelly talked about 90 victories and Kirby Puckett continued to assault his own career bests. In and around those moments the Twins also showed off a defense that is in the process of rewriting the record books for fewest errors in a season.

Puckett led the second straight victory with three hits and three RBI while running his batting average to .354. He now has 221 hits, two short of his career high, and 114 RBI.

“We got some good pitching from Charlie and Roy Smith did a great job,” said Kelly. “Plus we made some plays in the field to help out and we got the bats going later on. It all worked out.”

The Twins (85-69) also matched last season’s victory total and with eight games left could become the first Twins team since 1970 to win 90.

Roy Smith came on in relief in the fifth inning, allowing just two hits on the way to the Twins’ win.

Box

Player of the Game
Kirby Puckett

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Oakland Athletics              154   99   55    0  .643     -   768  596
Minnesota Twins                154   85   69    0  .552  14.0   720  645
Kansas City Royals             153   80   73    0  .523  18.5   673  614
California Angels              155   75   80    0  .484  24.5   690  731
Texas Rangers                  152   67   85    0  .441  31.0   601  698
Chicago White Sox              152   66   86    0  .434  32.0   598  725
Seattle Mariners               153   63   90    0  .412  35.5   626  709

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