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On This Date in Twins Playoff History: October 18, 1987

Frank Viola and Dan Gladden combined to obliterate the Cardinals in Game One of the 1987 World Series. Bert Blyleven was up for Game Two.

October 18, 1987
World Series, Game Two
Twins Lead Series, 2-0

Cardinals: Vince Coleman (LF), Ozzie Smith (SS), Tom Herr (2B), Dan Driessen (1B), Willie McGee (CF), Terry Pendleton (DH), Curt Ford (RF), Jose Oguendo (3B), Tony Pena (C), Danny Cox (P)

Twins: Dan Gladden (LF), Greg Gagne (SS), Kirby Puckett (CF), Kent Hrbek (1B), Gary Gaetti (3B), Randy Bush (DH), Tom Brunansky (RF), Steve Lombardozzi (2B), Tim Laudner (C), Bert Blyleven (P)

28-year old right-hander Danny Cox blanked Will Clark, Chili Davis and the San Francisco Giants in Game Seven of the NLCS, throwing a complete game shutout to propel St. Louis to their second World Series in three years and their thrid in six years. While the Cards had topped the Brewers in '82, they had lost in seven to the Royals in '85. Cox was just the pitcher St. Louis needed to help them avoid going down 0-2.

For the Twins, Bert Blyleven had won both of his ALCS starts with some help from his offense. He'd allowed 46 home runs in '87, so suffice it to say he was pleased that the Cardinals' only true slugger, Jack Clark, wasn't on the World Series roster due to lingering ankle issues.

Taking Clark's place on the roster was Dan Driessen, who was getting the start at first today over Jim Lindeman. Neither option was particularly enchanting for Whitey Herzog, but it wasn't his only issue. Clark's 35 bombs were 37% of the Cards' home run totals; 13% belonged to Terry Pendleton who was so dinged up he couldn't play the field and only bat left-handed; 12% belonged to Willie McGee whose 11 regular season homers constituted his career high. Missing by far his most productive bat and limited with his third-best bat, Herzog's offense looked pretty bad on paper.

And that was the story of today's game. The Twins and the Cardinals combined for 19 hits, but while St. Louis managed just one extra-base hit Minnesota tagged four. Including a pair of home runs.

Cox retired ten of the first eleven batters he faced, with the one exception being Gary Gaetti's one-out solo homer in the bottom of the second. Blyleven, through his first four innings, had allowed just a pair of singles. His offense stepped up their game and answered their starter's challenge by coming through in a big way in the bottom of the fourth.

After getting Greg Gagne grounded out, seven of the eight nine batters Cox saw reached safely. He started falling behind batters and his command slipped, loading the bases before Randy Bush delivered a two-run single. Intentionally walking Tom Brunansky loaded the bases again. Steve Lombardozzi missed a big opportunity by flying out to Vince Coleman in shallow left field, but Tim Launder's two-run single pushed it to a 5-0 lead. Dan Gladden was next and brought home Bruno, chasing Cox. Lee Tunnell came on and couldn't get the job done right away either, giving up another run to a Gagne single.

When the dust finally cleared it was 7-0 Twins. Four singles, two doubles, two walks and a wild pitch sabotaged St. Louis' efforts, and Minnesota didn't look back.

Blyleven pitched seven innings and left the game up 8-2, striking out eight and allowing just six hits. The Cardinals would scratch across a couple more runs off Juan Berenguer in the eighth, but Jeff Reardon's ten-pitch ninth closed the door. The 8-4 victory meant the Twins had outscored their opponent 18-5 en route to a commanding 2-0 series lead in the 1987 World Series.

Also in the 1987 World Series: