Thursday October 22, 1987
Cardinals 4, Twins 2
For the fourth time in this World Series the winning team scored most of its runs in one big inning. This time, however, it was not the fourth.
Bert Blyleven and Danny Cox were engaged in a pitching duel in the early innings. Both were pitching shutouts as the game headed into the bottom of the sixth inning. Blyleven allowed just four hits over the first five innings, while the Twins had only managed three against Cox. All of the hits in the game so far had been singles.
The Cardinals finally got to Blyleven in the bottom of the sixth on a rally that started with two infield singles. Vince Coleman led off with a grounder that took a bad hop as it reached Kent Hrbek. With Coleman at first, Ozzie Smith bunted down the third-base line. Blyleven bobbled the ball, but Smith likely would have been safe anyways.
With one out, Coleman and Smith executed a double steal on a pitch that Tim Laudner had some trouble handling. An intentional walk to Dan Driessen loaded the bases in an inning where the only ball that left the infield was a lazy fly to left that also produced the only out.
Blyleven came back to strike out Willie McGee, and was one out away from escaping with no damage when Curt Ford lined a single to center field to score the first two runs of the game. A Greg Gagne error on a chopper by Jose Oquendo allowed a third Cardinal run to score before a Tony Pena grounder to third finally ended the inning.
The three runs would hold up, though the Cardinals scored another run in the seventh to take a 4-0 lead.
The Twins finally hit the scoreboard when Gary Gaetti hit a two-out triple to knock two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Gaetti was stranded at third, however, and though the Twins put together a mini-scare for Cardinals fans in the ninth, the final score was 4-2 in favor of St. Louis.
The Twins now must win two straight home games to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1924.
Though the Cardinals have the clear advantage in the series, they aren’t thrilled that they have to win a game at the Metrodome. From Mark Vancil’s game story:
“I feel lot better now, but that’s a tough place to play,” Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog said of the Metrodome. “We have to go up there and win a ballgame. It’ll be tough because they played us tough here.”
Said Ford: “I think it will be a different story when we go back again this weekend.”
Player(s) of the Game
Vince Coleman and Ozzie Smith
Saturday Game 6: Les Straker MIN 8-10 4.37 ERA 1.35 WHIP vs John Tudor (L) 10-2 3.84 ERA 1.38 WHIP
Sunday Game 7 @ MIN