Jay Johnstone placed the rubber monster mask over his face and a space helmet on his head, looking a little bit like Boris Karloff and a little bit like Darth Vader.

This was only the World Series, after all.

"Every time this team plays it's like watching 'The Exorcist.' " said Johnstone, after his Los Angeles Dodgers had defeated the New York Yankees, 8-7, to bring this 78th Series back to equilibrium at two games apiece.

Johnstone had merely done what every pinch hitter is sent up to the plate to do, but rarely does. He delivered a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to bring the Dodgers to within 6-5. It was the 390-foot drive that cut into a three-run Yankee lead and sent another record crowd at Dodger Stadium into another loud, confetti-filled ovation.

But if Johnstone is the only Dodger to have a Halloween mask, he is also the only Dodger to have another remembrance from the month of October: a World Series ring.

The man who played on the 1978 Yankee team that beat the Dodgers in that Series, said, "When I was with the Yankees, I was with a team that knew how to win and did it easily. They won games by 8-1. On this team, we do it the hard way. We win games by 8-7. "

If Johnstone is a bit outrageous in his outfits and his outlooks, Steve Garvey, Dave Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey are not. They are the Los Angeles Dodgers. These are the men of the infield, from first to third, from 1973 to present.

"We have never won that third game of a Series," said Russell, whose sixth-inning single scored Lopes with the run that made it 6-6.

Russell recalled that the Dodgers lost to the Oakland A's in the 1974 Series in five games and to these Yankees in six games in both the 1977 and 1978 Series. He wants to alter this trend.

"We don't want to let this one get away from us. We don't know how long some of us will be around together any more," Russell said.

Garvey, the first baseman who went three for five today to raise his career postseason average to .350, said, "It's like we've been on a long journey together. We have to win one Series before it's over."

Said Lopes, "The other (World Series) teams in 1977 and '78 had more ability. But this team has more character. Those teams didn't know how to come from behind. This team does. We can beat the Yankees."

Indeed, the Dodgers have become Team Comeback in this three-tiered postseason. They trailed Houston two games to none, and they trailed Montreal two games to one before coming back to win both best-of-five events. Then they lost the first two games of this World Series and people were talking about a Yankee sweep.

"Now," said Cey, whose two hits today raised his Series average to .350, "it's a best of three."