MINNEAPOLIS, OCT. 24 -- It was the worst day imaginable for the St. Louis Cardinals, a day when all their nightmares were realized, a day when the 1987 World Series may have slipped from their grasp.

It was a day when a record crowd of 55,293 shook the Metrodome from its plastic grass to its Teflon roof, and caught in the crossfire of whistles, Beatles music and Homer Hankies were the Cardinals.

The Minnesota Twins got 15 hits off five pitchers, and Juan Berenguer and Jeff Reardon combined for four innings of shutout relief in an 11-5 victory that forced the Series to a decisive Game 7 Sunday night.

The Twins rallied from a 5-2 deficit with four runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth. Don Baylor's two-run homer tied it in the fifth, and Steve Lombardozzi's two-out single got Minnesota the lead. Kent Hrbek's grand slam broke it open in the sixth.

Kirby Puckett had four singles for the Twins, who did not take any shortcuts. They got 11 hits and six runs off Cardinals ace John Tudor, and Hrbek's slam came off reliever Ken Dayley, who hadn't allowed a run in six postseason appearances.

"They just look like different hitters here," Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog said. "The ballpark didn't beat us. We had a 5-2 lead. We just couldn't keep the ball in the park."

In a World Series in which the momentum has swung with the home field, the Twins can win their first championship Sunday when they send left-hander Frank Viola out against rookie left-hander Joe Magrane.

In 84 years, no team has won a World Series without winning a game on the road, but in 84 years, the Series may never have seen such an extreme home-field advantage.

In three games at the Metrodome, the Twins have outscored the Cardinals, 29-10. In three games at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals outscored the Twins, 14-5.

Tudor had held the Twins to one run in seven innings in Game 3 at St. Louis, but today was hit hard.

"We talked about it a lot," Lombardozzi said. "You have to stay back and wait and wait. He's going to throw you a lot of change-ups and keep you off balance. He also got more pitches up than he usually does."

Tudor said, "They made the adjustments. I was getting the ball out over the plate, and they were hitting it. I made a couple of key bad pitches -- the high change-up to Baylor. They got on a roll and kept coming after me."

Herzog said the Twins "looked like they knew what was coming." He said he was not accusing the Twins of stealing signs, but was clearly putting that idea in people's minds since others have said the same thing.

But Tudor downplayed it. "It appeared they knew what was coming," he said, "but just because they beat me up once, I'm not going to accuse them of cheating."

The Twins survived today although rookie starter Les Straker was terrible, allowing five hits and four runs in three-plus innings. He was followed by Dan Schatzeder, who allowed a run in two innings.

Berenguer came in to start the sixth, and that was that. He allowed three singles in three innings, and Reardon pitched the ninth.

"Now, you either get the job done or you don't," Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith said. "They take advantage of playing in their place, and that's the way it should be. It looked like they did their homework against our pitchers. It's going to be noisy again here tomorrow, but we know that. We just have to go out and do our jobs."

Straker faced 15 hitters, leaving after three straight Cardinals got hits to open the fourth. Tom Herr got them started in the first when he hit a hanging curveball for an upper-deck homer to right.

The Twins came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Dan Gladden opened with a triple inside the right-field foul line, just past first baseman Dan Driessen.

Gladden stayed at second on a groundout by Greg Gagne, but scored when Puckett grounded a change-up to left for a single. Cardinals third baseman Jose Oquendo then made a nice play on Gary Gaetti's grounder. Puckett took third on the play and scored when Baylor punched a Tudor fastball to right for a single and a 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals tied it in the second. In the fourth, Driessen led off with a double and Willie McGee singled. Puckett overthrew the cutoff man, and McGee took second. Terry Pendleton got an infield single to first when Straker was slow getting over to cover the bag. Driessen scored on the play, and Kelly brought in Schatzeder.

With Curt Ford due up, Herzog countered with right-handed Jim Lindeman, who fouled out. Oquendo's sacrifice fly scored McGee for a 4-2 lead.

The Cardinals made it 5-2 in the fifth when Smith got a leadoff walk, went to second on Herr's grounder and scored on McGee's single.

But in the bottom of the fifth, the Twins needed just three swings to tie it, 5-5. Puckett singled and scored when Gaetti lined a double. Baylor then hit Tudor's next pitch into the left-field seats for the tie.

"That was the only bad pitch he made," Cardinals catcher Tony Pena said.

Baylor said, "I think the last time I faced him was in '83, the day {Dave} Righetti threw his no-hitter. I hit a home run off him that day {when Tudor pitched for Boston}. I had prepared the last two days to face him. I was more prepared for him than he was ready for me."

Brunansky singled to left on his next pitch, and Herzog brought in left-hander Ricky Horton. He got Hrbek on a fly to center and Laudner on a bouncer back to the mound. Brunansky went to second on Laudner's grounder and scored when Lombardozzi singled. That gave the Twins a 6-5 lead.

The Twins broke the game open in the sixth when they scored four runs on two hits -- one of them an infield single.

Gagne led off with a single to shortstop off Horton, and Herzog brought in right-hander Bob Forsch. Puckett drew a walk, and the runners moved to second and third on a passed ball by Pena. Forsch got Gaetti on a popup and intentionally walked Baylor to load the bases and bring up Brunansky, who also popped up. With Hrbek up, Herzog brought in Dayley, and Hrbek drilled his first pitch over the center-field wall for four runs and a 10-5 lead.

"We made some mistakes, and I made the biggest one," Dayley said. "I wasn't even thinking about the ball going out. It was over the plate when he could get extended on it, and he hit it out. He won today."

Hrbek was in a four-for-20 Series slump when he batted and had one hit in 13 at-bats against Cardinals lefties.

"He'd started me off with a fastball every time and threw me another one," Hrbek said. "I was looking for it . . . I wish I could have run around the bases twice."