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Bullpen delivering stout relief in early going

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CHICAGO -- Vance Worley gave a wry smile when asked about the Twins bullpen on Saturday afternoon, shortly after a host of relievers helped Worley's seven-inning, one-run outing stand up in a 2-1, 10-inning win.

"They're good," Worley said plainly. "I like them.

"They've got a lot of fire out there. Maybe they just get so amped up from being so cold out there? I don't know. I know they were all freezing when they came in here, but they compete. They know what they have, they go out there and throw strikes, get ahead in the count and it makes their job easy."

Minnesota's relievers have made it look easy at times this year, with many of them holding late-game experience. Three of them (Glen Perkins, Jared Burton and Josh Roenicke) have at least one save in their career. Casey Fien, Perkins, Roenicke and Anthony Swarzak all have a win this year.

Manager Ron Gardenhire didn't know how his relief arms would align during Spring Training, but the group endured a wild week of layoffs and postponements, holding onto a combined ERA of 2.10 entering Sunday. That's good for fourth in baseball.

"Not all of them had great springs, so I think we went more on their history and what we thought they could do," Gardenhire said. "You try to overlook some of the spring, especially with veteran guys or new guys coming in trying to do a little too much. But some of them in spring wasn't exactly what you'd hope for. But we liked their arms."

Burton and Ryan Pressly are two of 19 American League relievers maintaining a 0.00 ERA, and Swarzak (1.04) and Roenicke (1.17) are in the league's top 30.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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