Game 160: California Angels (75-84) @ Minnesota Twins (88-71)

Friday September 30, 1988

Frank Viola took the mound for the final time in the 1988 season. While it wasn’t his finest performance, he did enough to earn his 24th win of the year. When he was removed after allowing four consecutive hits in the eighth inning, the fans gathered at the Metrodome cheered until Viola came out of the dugout for a curtain call.

“He had an outstanding season,” manager Tom Kelly said. “There were times a couple of years ago when I didn’t know if he was ever going to do that, if he was physically and mentally strong enough. He has proven he is a top-notch pitcher.”

-quoted by Tom Powers, Pioneer Press 10/1/1988

The Twins jumped ahead early, making the night fairly easy for Viola. After five innings, the Twins held a 7-0 lead with their ace pitcher seemingly cruising.

He ran into some trouble in the sixth, however. Jack Howell led off the inning with a double. Three consecutive one-out singles by the Angels plated two runs, including Howell, and put them on the scoreboard. Kirby Puckett’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning made the score 8-2.

The final inning of Viola’s magical season was a forgettable one. He didn’t retire a single batter while allowing four consecutive hit and three runs. Still, he was able to earn the victory on the strength of the Twins offense.

Jeff Reardon came on in the ninth inning and retired the Angels to earn his 41st save of the year.

Viola finished the 1988 season with a 24-7 2.64 ERA 1.14 WHIP 0.9 HR/9 1.3 BB/9 7.5 K/9.

Viola’s 24 wins ties him with Jim Perry for second most in franchise history, behind Jim Kaat who had 25 in 1966.

Box

Player of the Game
Kirby Puckett

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Oakland Athletics              160  103   57    0  .644     -   793  612
Minnesota Twins                160   89   71    0  .556  14.0   746  665
Kansas City Royals             159   84   75    0  .528  18.5   703  640
California Angels              160   75   85    0  .469  28.0   707  758
Chicago White Sox              159   69   90    0  .434  33.5   623  756
Texas Rangers                  159   69   90    0  .434  33.5   627  729
Seattle Mariners               159   67   92    0  .421  35.5   658  734

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