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Twins Slip Past Angels Again, 3-2

Times Staff Writer

So Cookie Rojas couldn’t keep track of how many trips had been made to the mound. As if he had a lot of practice counting recently?

Losses, yes. Injuries, yes. But runs, no way. If they supported him vocally, Angel players also gave their now-deposed manager the cold-bat treatment.

That trend continued under Moose Stubing Saturday night at Anaheim Stadium, where the Angels, after scoring just 36 runs in the first 11 games of the home stand, rallied for 2 but still lost to the Minnesota Twins, 3-2, before a crowd of 25,290.

No need to call “Unsolved Mysteries” to figure out why the Angels are 2-10 on their last home stand and 6 games under .500--75-81--after being 4 above on Sept. 9. Or why they’ve lost 6 straight.

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The runs they did get, however, were impressive, seeing as they came off Jeff Reardon, the American League’s No. 2 reliever. Reardon blew a chance for his 41st save when Angel designated hitter Johnny Ray singled off him in the eighth inning to tie the game, 2-2, but the Twins’ pitcher ended up with the win when Minnesota scored once in the top of the ninth on Jim Dwyer’s sacrifice fly to left field that scored pinch-runner Mark Davidson.

Angel starter Mike Witt (14-14) pitched the whole game, allowing six hits, and took the loss.

“He couldn’t get a break,” Stubing said of Witt. “We had the right guys up in the right situations. But sometimes when you’re struggling . . . “

Kirby Puckett, who had a pair of doubles in the Twins’ 7-1 win Friday, added another against Witt in the seventh inning, just inside the line and under the glove of diving first baseman Wally Joyner. Randy Bush, who opened the inning with a walk, scored all the way from first, and Puckett took third on the throw. He scored two batters later when Dan Gladden flied to center.

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For much of the way, that was good enough for Fred Toliver, the Twins’ starter bearing down on his first complete game in 31 major league starts with Minnesota, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. But the Angels chased him in the eighth when pinch-hitter Brian Downing opened with a single and Dick Schofield walked.

Reardon came in and, after Mark McLemore’s sacrifice bunt, gave up Ray’s single. In all, Reardon surrendered 4 hits in 2 innings, but stopped the Angels in the ninth, when they had runners on first and third before McLemore flied to right field to end the game.

Angel Notes

Second-place Minnesota will finish with a better record this season than in 1987, when it was 85-77 and won the World Series. In fact, this is the Twins’ best year, record-wise, since 1970, when they went 98-64. They’re 86-69 in ’88 and, after concluding the series with the Angels today, play the final six games of the season at the Metrodome. . . . Last season, Twin outfielder Kirby Puckett batted .332 with 28 home runs, 99 runs batted in and 96 runs scored and still finished third in the American League voting for most valuable player. Going into Saturday’s game, his 1988 probably-not-good-enough numbers were .354, 22 home runs, 114 RBIs, 221 hits and 99 runs scored. Probably not good enough, that is, considering Jose Canseco’s 1988. . . . Dan Petry (3-7) faces the Twins’ Cy Young Award candidate, Frank Viola (22-7) today at 1:05.

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