MINNEAPOLIS -- Perhaps you've seen that spooky thing they do on the Twins' bench with their hats when there are two out and two strikes on a Minnesota hitter. A group of Twins take off their caps and turn them upside down. To keep the rally alive, they start shaking them mystically like a Hare Krishna pledge class. These are the players' "Rally Caps," first cousins to the fans' "Homer Hankies."

You can't compete for a championship anymore without a brace of lucrative marketing gimmicks and a slogan. The 1979 Pirates cheered, "We are Fam-i-lee." Self-gratifyingly, the 1986 Mets espoused "Baseball The Way It Oughta Be." These Twins, proud of their home run power, crow, "Touch 'Em All." But should they win this World Series and make the Cardinals a sadder, Bud-weiser team, the homily to crochet onto the electric blankets is, "Dome, Sweet Home."

Talk about Jekyll and Hyde, the Twins are such a different team on the road and at home they should wear T-shirts that say: Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I'm Schizophrenic, And So Am I. You could see it in their clubhouse late Thursday night after Game 5. For a team that had just been waltzed out the door in St. Louis, the Twins appeared remarkably resilient. To echo the man for whom the Metrodome is named, they were pleased as punch to be going home. There were no sad faces and more than a few loud voices, among them that of Gary Gaetti, the good Dr. Crank, who stood on a chair inside his locker and proclaimed Bill Murray-style, "We will be overpowering back in the Metrodome, and that's a fact, Jack!" and then, swept away by his own oratorical power, realized, "I need a beer."

Is there any reason to believe the home team won't win Game 6, seeing how the home team won Games 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5? "I can think of one -- John Tudor," volunteered the Twins' Roy Smalley. "If we escape his game," Smalley said, eyes brightening at the thought, "I'd bet the ranch on us. They have to wrap it up on Saturday. If it's one game for all the marbles in the Metrodome with Frank Viola pitching, it's ours."

Ah, but how to Houdini Mr. Tudor? Especially with Les Straker pitching. Granted, Straker's 6-3 home record allows you to exhale, as opposed to his 2-7 road record. But asking Straker to duplicate the six shutout innings he pitched in Game 3 is like asking Robert Bork for a gimme putt. "We have to outscore them, and hopefully do it early," Smalley said, evoking the thunderstorm scenario of Games 1 and 2.

"What you saw in the Dome was our offense to the max," continued Smalley. "They can't slug with us. We can't slap with them; they can manufacture runs better than we can if we're not hitting. Our pitchers aren't going to stop them. They can slap for three or four runs a game. But holding them to three or four is entirely reasonable. Then it becomes our power against their pitching."

The Twins' four big sticks -- Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky and Gaetti -- must have gotten on the wrong flight and ended up in St. Thomas instead of St. Louis. Having combined for 125 homers and 383 RBI during the season, they came down with a case of the St. Louis blues: zero homers, four RBI, .174 batting average and 10 strikeouts. Gaetti's eighth-inning Game 5 triple off Willie McGee's glove high up the center field wall was the only ball Minnesota hit in Busch that would have headed for the mountains in the Metrodome. "They've played five games exactly the same way," Smalley said. "We've played two the way we can."

The Cardinals, particularly Vince Coleman, who scored four runs and stole five bases, dictated the pace of the games in St. Louis. Keeping Coleman off the track is always advisable, but particularly with no outs. What undid the Twins on Thursday was Coleman leading off the sixth with that "unseamly" single off Hrbek's glove. "It tends to feel portentious with Vince Coleman on and nobody out," the erudite Smalley observed. "He turns the jets on, steals a base, opens up the board. Ozzie has superior bat control. Maybe he gets a flare, and {Tommy} Herr has second and third to shoot at. It's an instant big inning. That's their M.O. They get runs in nontraditional ways. But any other situation it's not as inflammatory having Coleman on. If they have one out, I say let him steal second and third. Get the hitters out."

Coleman was on base once in the first two games. Among them, Coleman, Ozzie Smith and Herr had two hits in 24 at-bats. In the spirit of the Rally Caps and the Homer Hankies, the real advantage of the Metrodome may be that it's distractingly bothersome for a visitor to play there. At this point you're looking for any edge you can carve. "It's much better to have a day off after a few losses than after a few wins," Gaetti declared the other night. "It breaks the chain."

Gaetti looked out at skeptical faces. Then, grinning craftily in the direction of the Cardinals' clubhouse, he said to a St. Louis writer, "Go tell them what I said. Just put it in their minds, okay?"