Luis Tiant outpitched rookie Frank Viola and pinch hitter Reggie Jackson doubled in two runs to break an eighth-inning tie as the California Angels beat the Twins, 3-1, yesterday in Minneapolis.
The 41-year-old Tiant (1-1), making his second start for the Angels since being purchased from Tabasco of the Mexican League Aug. 2, went seven innings. He gave up six hits, struck out four and walked one. His last victory had come on Sept. 15, 1981, when he beat the Chicago Cubs for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Luis Sanchez struck out Gary Gaetti with runners on second and third to end the game and record his second save.
Viola (3-4) went 7 1/3 innings, giving up five hits. He struck out 10 and walked none.
"When I was in Mexico, I never lost faith in myself or in God," Tiant said. "The only thing I needed was for somebody to come down and check me out."
Said Angels Manager Gene Mauch: "Endurance is the key for Luis. He's not the best-conditioned athlete in the world, he's no Charles Atlas, but he has a great arm.
"Remember when we always used to say, 'This is going to be (Warren) Spahn's last year?' " Mauch said. "We said that for about six years."
Doug DeCinces hit a home run in the seventh, his 24th of the season and 12th in 13 games, as California broke a 21-year-old club record with homers in 17 straight games.