Preparing to face him in Game 6, Baylor said, "I reminisced about the way he pitched me then. Let's just say I was somewhat more ready for him than he was ready for me." When Tudor tried a fastball inside, Baylor hammered it deep to left for his first homer since coming from Boston on Aug. 31. The blast tied the score, sent the crowd into a frenzy and caused more than a few Red Sox fans to wonder again what Baylor might have done had he batted against the Mets' Jesse Orosco in Game 6 of the '86 Series.
Brunansky's single chased Tudor, and after Brunansky moved to second on a groundout, Lombardozzi drove in the go-ahead run with his third hit, off Ricky Horton.
A 6-5 lead in a game of this sort was slim indeed. The Twins loaded the bases in the sixth on a single by Gagne, a walk to Puckett and an intentional pass to Baylor. So, with two outs, the Cardinals brought in the lefthanded Dayley, who hadn't allowed a run in seven Series appearances, to face Hrbek, who was 1 for 13 against the Cardinal lefties. "If we don't score there," Kelly said later, "I saw them taking the lead again."
The Cardinals' scouting report called for fastballs inside on Hrbek, but for some reason Pena set up on the outside part of the plate, which is where Dayley threw his first pitch. Hrbek swung, and the ball took off into the gloaming under the doming, landing 439 feet away. As Hrbek—HOMETOWN HRO one sign read—rounded the bases, he held out both arms in triumph. "I wanted to circle the bases twice," he said. The Twins led 10-5 after the grand slam, and they scored another run in the eighth to win 11-5. Another sign said: 4 AND 20 REDBIRDS BAKED IN A PIE. Hrbek dedicated his homer to the memory of his father, who died in 1982 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. "Even though there's a roof on this place, he had the best seat in the house," said Hrbek.
Baylor had a special feeling as well. He had been in six league championship series and one other World Series, and now he was only one win away from his first Series ring. "This one seems as if it was meant to be," he said. "The feeling around here is different than the one we had in Boston last year. We had the weight of New England on our shoulders. Today, before the game, guys were joking, Gaetti was doing somersaults in the outfield. We just have to go out and have fun tomorrow. Yes, I have a good feeling about this one."
Baylor was right. After Viola's Game 7 masterpiece, after the fans had taken the victory celebration to the streets of the Twin Cities and after the Tosti Asti Spumante had run out, Gaetti stood exhausted in the Twins clubhouse and talked about what it all meant.
"When I'm 65 years old, I'm going to take my grandchild to his first baseball game," he said. "We'll take our seats, and I'll say to him, 'Baseball is the national pastime, the greatest game in the world. And the greatest thing you can do in baseball is win a World Series.' Then I'll pause and say, 'I once played for a World Series winner.' "