MINNEAPOLIS, OCT. 17 -- The day had begun with a downtown parade and there had been tailgate parties and hourly television updates and another thousand or so Homer Hankies purchased. From the beginning, this had been like a long, loud Minnesota-Ohio State football weekend, but this is a revival not only of baseball, but of civic pride and team spirit.
This was the scene tonight for the St. Louis Cardinals, who played like an unnerved team, losing, 10-1, to the Minnesota Twins in Game 1 of the 1987 World Series.
The margin of victory matches the third-biggest Game 1 rout in history and, oddly, the previous three winners all ended up losing the Series.
"We played those close, intense games in Detroit," Twins second baseman Steve Lombardozzi said, "and we were able to relax a little bit tonight. That was a good feeling."
A sellout crowd of 55,171 turned the Metrodome into an echo chamber of horrors for the Cardinals and pitchers Joe Magrane and Bob Forsch. The Twins took advantage of every mistake, scoring seven runs in the fourth inning and breezing to their first Series victory in 22 years.
Minnesota's Frank Viola allowed five hits in eight innings, and Dan Gladden's grand slam off Forsch in the fourth inning broke open the game and accounted for four of his five RBI, one short of Bobby Richardson's World Series record of six for the New York Yankees in 1960.
His slam was the 13th in World Series history, and it came on a night when the Twins had six walks and 11 hits, pinging the ball from one corner of the carpeted plastic stadium to another.
"No, I don't think it was the crowd," Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog said. "It's loud, I'll say that. I don't want to blame the dome for losing that ballgame. They just beat us . . . a good old-fashioned tail-kicking. That's all that is."
Lombardozzi hit a two-run homer off Forsch in the fifth as the Twins got as much offense in one game as the Cardinals usually get in three. Now, they'll try to take a 2-0 lead Sunday night when they will send Bert Blyleven against Danny Cox.
The Cardinals had known that playing a World Series without first baseman Jack Clark and third baseman Terry Pendleton would make their task difficult. They'd known that the Metrodome could be a distraction. What they didn't count on was their pitching staff digging them a 7-1 hole in the fourth inning.
Magrane gave up five runs in three-plus innings, and Forsch four in three innings. The Cardinals' outfielders also had some mild problems with the dome, letting two routine fly balls fall in for hits.
As the Twins proved against Detroit in the American League playoffs, timing is everything, and they certainly have their timing down. Gladden has 24 homers in 1,696 career at-bats and was coming off a 38-RBI season, his best ever. Lombardozzi hit eight homers this season and has 16 in his major league career.
But tonight, they made Viola's job easy. He allowed the Cardinals a run in the second when rookie Jim Lindeman blooped a double in front of center fielder Kirby Puckett, but the Cardinals got only one runner into scoring position after that. Viola was so sharp that he didn't walk a batter and had a three-ball count only once.
He left after 100 pitches and eight innings and will be able to come back with three days' rest to start Game 4.
"I felt I was in total control of the game," said Viola, who struck out five. "The big lead made it so easy, but I tried to pretend it was a 0-0 game. For the most part, I got ahead in the count, and all three pitches were working. When I've got 'em, I use 'em."
Magrane, the eighth rookie to start a Series opener, wore earplugs to filter the roar of the crowd. Whether it was the noise or the circumstances, something undid him. He retired the first five Twins, then had trouble with his control thereafter.
In the fourth, he didn't get anyone out, and the Twins sent 11 men to the plate and turned a 1-0 deficit into a 7-1 lead. Gary Gaetti led off with an infield single, and Don Baylor grounded a single just past shortstop Ozzie Smith. Tom Brunansky singled to load the bases, and Kent Hrbek bounced a single up the middle for a 2-1 lead.
Brunansky stopped at third, and Hrbek took second on center fielder Willie McGee's throw to third. Magrane walked Lombardozzi to reload the bases, and Herzog brought in Forsch, who also had problems.
Tim Laudner fought a fastball off his fists and lined a single to right for a 3-1 lead. The bases remained loaded, and Forsch went to 1-1 on Gladden before hanging a curveball over the middle of the plate.
Gladden hit a towering grand slam into the left field seats, and the Twins were in control, 7-1. The seven runs were the most for a team in the World Series since the Tigers scored 10 against the Cardinals in the third inning of a game on Oct. 9, 1968.
"If the base hit he gave up to Hrbek had been hit at somebody, we might have gotten out of it," Herzog said. "I took him out after he walked the second baseman, thinking maybe Forsch would get a ground ball on Laudner. We really had to stay away from the big inning. We know we're not going to score many runs with the attack we've got, and that's the way it's going to be. If we get good pitching, we've got a chance."
Gladden said he was expecting a breaking ball because "he'd showed me all three pitches, and I'd squibbed off the curveball. He tried it again and hung it."
They weren't finished. With one out in the fifth inning, Forsch walked Hrbek, then threw Lombardozzi a fastball down the middle. Lombardozzi hit it into about the same seat Gladden's homer had landed, and the Twins were up, 9-1. They made it 10-1 in the seventh when Lombardozzi got a one-out single and Gladden doubled down the right field line.
Viola was never in anything resembling trouble after the fourth inning, and Keith Atherton pitched the ninth. In his last 15 starts at the Metrodome, Viola has gone 10-0, including 1-0 in two postseason starts. His last loss here was to the Tigers May 22.
Originally, this was supposed to be a big day for him in other ways. He had been scheduled to be best man in his brother John's wedding in New York, but was a no-show because of the game.
"This was probably the best wedding gift I could have given him," Frank Viola said.
Despite what Herzog thought, Lombardozzi said the Metrodome might have disconcerted the Cardinals. "I'm going to need a hearing aid after the season," he said. "The fans have been our 10th man all year . . . It's a big plus."
Other players to hit a grand slam in the World Series: Elmer Smith, Cleveland, vs. Brooklyn, Oct. 10, 1920; Tony Lazzeri, Yankees, vs. New York Giants, Oct. 2, 1936; Gil McDougald, Yankees, vs. New York Giants, Oct. 9, 1951; Mickey Mantle, Yankees, vs. Brooklyn, Oct. 4, 1953; Yogi Berra, Yankees, vs. Brooklyn, Oct. 5, 1956; Bill Skowron, Yankees, vs. Brooklyn, Oct. 10, 1956; Bobby Richardson, Yankees, vs. Pittsburgh, Oct. 8, 1960; Chuck Hiller, San Francisco, vs. Yankees, Oct. 8, 1962; Ken Boyer, St. Louis, vs. Yankees, Oct. 11, 1964; Joe Pepitone, Yankees, vs. St. Louis, Oct. 14, 1964; Jim Northrup, Detroit, vs. St. Louis, Oct. 9, 1968; pitcher Dave McNally, Orioles, vs. Cincinnati, Oct. 13, 1970.