The fourth inning began with Gaetti pulling a ground ball deep behind third, beyond the range of Lawless's arm. Magrane next got a good fastball in on Don Baylor's fists, but the veteran DH muscled a hit up the middle, and when Brunansky lined a single to center, the bases were loaded, and Herzog had Bob Forsch warming up. Kent Hrbek then slapped a ground ball through the middle and into centerfield. "If it's at Tommy Herr, it's a double play. But that's life on the turf," said Herzog, who should certainly know. Still, it was only 2-1, so when Magrane reloaded the bases with a walk, Herzog summoned righthander Forsch to face a parade of seven righty batters.
One good pitch and one bad pitch later, it was 7-1. The good pitch was a slider that Laudner, who batted .191 this season trying to pull homers, volleyed into right for the third run. The bad pitch was a hanging curveball that lead-off hitter Gladden pulled over the Plexiglas wall in left center for the first World Series grand slam since pitcher Dave McNally connected for Baltimore in 1970. The Twins had scored seven runs without making an out.
Minnesota scored twice more in the fifth on second baseman Steve Lombardozzi's homer. Though the Twins' starting lineup boasted five players—Brunansky, Gaetti, Puckett, Hrbek and Baylor—who had hit at least 30 homers in one or both of the last two seasons, it was Gladden and Lombardozzi, with 16 homers between them in 1987, who provided the power. "You know you're on a roll when you get a grand slam from your leadoff man," said Baylor.
Out in the Minneapolis streets, car horns blared. Inside the Dome, however, Twins manager Tom Kelly was in his office only 20 minutes after the game, chowing down on a pork chop with applesauce and squash. " Danny Cox is their best pitcher," he told a visitor. It was his way of saying no team ever won a World Series with one victory. Just then the phone rang. "It's about time Reagan called," Kelly said.
The difference between Game 2 and Game 1 was that it was 7-0 after four innings instead of 7-1. " Cox had very good stuff," said Gaetti, "but when little mistakes get made against a hot club, they turn into major mistakes." The first mistake was a second-inning slider that Cox hung in what Gaetti calls his "wampum zone." Hello, leftfield bleachers, 11th row. The second mistake came with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth. Cox got two quick strikes on DH Randy Bush with change-ups and decided to try just one more. He laid it in the fat of the strike zone, and Bush ripped it over first baseman Dan Driessen's head for a two-run double. When the inning was over, Bush had provided the Series' most exciting play to date with a headlong slide into home under Tony Pena's tag, and six runs had scored. Bert Blyleven then coasted through seven innings for his third straight postseason win. For his part, Cox said he "looked up to see if the roof was falling down," then exited, stage left.
Driessen was one of the few Cardinals who had been around when Blyleven pitched for Pittsburgh from 1978 to '80. "He's still got the great curveball," Driessen observed. "But he might be better now because he throws different types of fastballs and changes speed and arm angle on the curve." The 36-year-old Blyleven, who increasingly seems to take on the look of fellow Dutchman Vincent van Gogh, said, "They obviously scouted my last few games and saw that I threw a lot of curveballs. They seemed to be sitting on that pitch. So I threw a lot of fastballs."
He began the game with three fastballs that Coleman watched into Laudner's glove. Owing to the large leads and Coleman's absence from the base paths until his eighth at bat of the Series, the famed Cardinal running game was inoperative. Herzog had done little but watch the last five innings of Game 1. This time he acted and, yes, got a head start on managing Game 3. In the fifth inning he stormed out of the dugout to complain to home plate umpire Lee Weyer of the National League about Blyleven's delivery. "He balks on every pitch because he doesn't come to a stop in his stretch," Herzog argued. When Coleman finally stole second in the eighth inning, the Cardinals were trailing 8-2. It was the Cardinals' first theft because, balk move or no balk move, the Minnesota pitchers had held the top of the order—Coleman, Smith and Herr—to two hits in the two games.
"The reason we won only 85 games during the regular season was because we were a little thin in pitching depth," said Minnesota's Roy Smalley. "But in the postseason that doesn't become much of a factor. We're more like a team that won 95 games." Indeed, the victories made the Twins' overall record 51-28 in games started by their two aces, Viola and Blyleven, 40-50 in games started by pitchers who belong in a plain brown bag marked OTHERS.
As the Cardinals packed off to St. Louis, hoping for an opportunity to return to the unfriendly confines of the Metrodome for Game 6, Herzog insisted that "two things in baseball that mean nothing are last year and yesterday." Ah, but did Whitey forget that last year the Mets came back to win the Series after trailing 2-0, as the Cardinals had in '85 and the Dodgers had—against the Minnesota Twins, no less—in 1965?