MINNEAPOLIS, OCT. 18 -- Attention, St. Louis Cardinals. Fall back to lower ground. Regroup and reload. Reassemble at Busch Stadium Tuesday.

The Cardinals have no other choice following their second straight blowout loss to the Minnesota Twins in the World Series. Tonight's 8-4 defeat puts St. Louis in an 0-2 hole as they return home for the next three games -- or if the Twins continue to play as they have, perhaps only two.

So far, the Twins have outhit St. Louis, 21-14, hit four homers to the Cardinals' zero, and have had the backing of their legion of hanky-wavers in each inning of each game. But, the Cardinals said, their trouble is not with the crowds.

"We've lost games before," pitcher Danny Cox said. "I don't think this crowd has anything to do with it. They're loud, but they're a good loud. They're not obnoxious or anything."

"We just didn't play well up here," St. Louis second baseman Tom Herr said. "We didn't pitch well. And there's no use second-guessing our guys for their pitch selection."

"They're doing everything right and not doing anything wrong," said Cox, the victim of tonight's six-run Minnesota outburst in the fourth. "We need a big hit, and we hit it right at somebody, and they get out of a {possible} big inning."

Many are shocked by Minnesota's quick start, but St. Louis shortstop Ozzie Smith isn't. "Anybody who knows anything about baseball can realize how good they are," he said. "It would take an imbecile to not realize they have talent."

While Bert Blyleven had the Cardinals out of sync offensively tonight through seven innings, the Twins were once again proving that thrash and crash can occasionally beat run and gun.

Gary Gaetti's second-inning homer off a high change-up from Cox started the rout for Minnesota. "The last couple of games, I had much better control of my pitches," Cox said. "Tonight, in the first three innings, I thought I had good stuff."

"He had really good stuff," Manager Whitey Herzog said of his starter. "He had one strike on Gaetti and hung a curve ball, which {Gaetti} hit out. He had two strikes on {Randy} Bush {in the fourth} and threw a high change-up, and that was two runs. He had the bases loaded and threw a fastball right down the pike to {Tim} Laudner, so there's five runs."

Meanwhile, Herzog was unhappy with what he felt was quick-pitching by Blyleven. Herzog went out twice to home plate umpire Lee Weyer to complain that Blyleven was not coming to a stop in the stretch, a motion that should draw a balk.

Herzog was particularly angry, he said, because in his meeting with the umpires Saturday, they told him they would be looking for that move by Blyleven.

"{If Commissioner} Peter Ueberroth, {National League President} Bart Giamatti or {American League President} Bobby Brown, or any umpire on the field tonight, will show me where Blyleven comes to a stop . . . I'll agree," Herzog said. "Now if I'm wrong, take me in a film room and show me and I'll admit I'm wrong. I just hope they look at it . . . but they won't."

With or without stopping, Blyleven was in complete control, striking out eight and walking one.

The Cardinals are in a must-win situation Tuesday, when John Tudor goes to the mound against Les Straker. Tudor was asked what he might do to change the Twins' fortunes Tuesday.

"We can start by skipping from the third to the fifth inning," he said.

"I think it's a different ballpark," first baseman Dan Driessen said of Busch, "and maybe we'll get a chance to play our game. For the first two games, we really haven't done that, and hopefully we can get it changed."

Someone said to Smith that St. Louis fans, cognizant of the Cardinals' battling all season, might say they have the Twins right where they want them.

"I think they'll say that because we've had our back against the wall all year," Smith said. "And we've got them there again. Nothing new for us."