ST. LOUIS, OCT. 22 -- Tom Brunansky held a spoon that was dripping ice cream under Kirby Puckett's nose and asked him what he would do Friday. Dan Gladden set off a series of stink bombs and blamed a cable television reporter.

This is the club trailing, 3-2, in the World Series?

The Minnesota Twins will return to their home park down, 3-2, in the World Series, having again been stilettoed into submission by the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Although their clubhouse was more subdued than after Wednesday's game, the Twins still flashed confidence.

"Well, we have no more to play here," Twins Manager Tom Kelly said. "{The Metrodome is} the only place to go. It will be good to get back home."

Unlike Wednesday night, when Twins starter Frank Viola was not sharp, tonight, Bert Blyleven pitched well through five innings. But he was undone by a three-run Cardinals sixth.

The inning featured a swinging bunt, a bunt single, an intentional walk, two stolen bases and an error. Curt Ford drove in two runs with a single to center, the only sharply hit ball of the inning.

It appeared that Blyleven had gotten himself out of trouble by striking out Willie McGee to bring Ford to the plate. Blyleven was asked if he relaxed or let up when Ford came up.

"Not at all," he said, "because we're not out of the inning. Give credit to {Cardinals starter Danny} Cox. It's that simple."

Coleman's swinging bunt to lead off the inning hit the dirt in front of first baseman Kent Hrbek and bounced away from him, giving Coleman enough time to beat Hrbek's throw to Blyleven.

"The ball just stayed down," Hrbek said.

Third baseman Gary Gaetti said Busch Stadium's playing surface was not up to par.

"The dirt is really subpar compared to some fields," Gaetti said. "I don't like to make excuses, but it's obvious that it was a bad hop."

Ozzie Smith then reached on a bunt that Blyleven couldn't grab.

"It was a pretty good play {by Smith}," Blyleven said. "I don't think even if I had barehanded it, turned around and threw, that I would have gotten him."

The Cardinals quickly converted the game to their style of play. That style is run, run, run. St. Louis stole five bases tonight, and had its game in full gear.

Kelly was asked about the possible intimidation factor of seeing the Cardinals run so much. "They steal bases on everybody," he said. "I'm sure we're not the first team."

"We have to keep them away from their style of baseball and get back to our style of baseball, which is to get some runs," Hrbek said.

Indeed, the Twins' major problems have been at the plate. They scored only five runs in three games in St. Louis, and have scored only six runs in the last 31 innings. Before Gaetti's two-run triple in the eighth, their last multi-run inning was the six-run outburst in the fourth inning of Game 2.

"You have to give their pitchers credit," said Puckett, currently in a 4-for-20 (.200) slump in the Series. "They did a great job. They get a hit, steal some bases, hit a sacrifice fly."

St. Louis' pitchers seem to have adjusted to Minnesota's big bats, although Gaetti said there really was not much one team could learn about another in such a short series.

"A series like this is pretty much a crapshoot," he said. "At-bats differ from at-bats. Sometimes you have runners on, sometimes you don't, so that makes it different. You still have to throw the ball across the plate."

Being behind for the first time in the Series, the Twins were asked if the pressure of being in the franchise's first World Series since 1965 was finally reaching their young ballclub.

"Tight?" Hrbek responded. "I was out there having fun, the team was having a good time. Bert Blyleven pitched a helluva game. We can't lose anymore, that's the bottom line."

"If you're not going to be confident about your chances," Gaetti said, "you might as well not even show up. We haven't been that kind of team all year. It's no time to quit. You can't quit now."