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Twins' offense a pleasant surprise

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CLEVELAND -- The offense has been a pleasant surprise for the Twins early this season, as they entered Sunday's game fourth in runs scored in the American League, with 28 through their first five games.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire admitted that he was nervous about how the offense would perform this season, especially considering how much hitters struggled to score runs in Spring Training. Josh Willingham and Jason Kubel both had rough springs, in particular, but have fared well in the early going.

"I was a little worried about the way we swung the bats in Florida," Gardenhire said. "But we've always said, don't put too much stock in that, because guys are getting in shape and ready for the season. But yeah, you'd like to think guys would start getting into a groove the last week of Spring Training, but we didn't have too much of that. So I was not panicked, but panicked."

Gardenhire said the Twins still need to cut down on striking out, as they led the AL in that category with 54 entering Sunday.

"We're swinging a lot better, but we're striking out a lot," Gardenhire said. "Lots of caught looking. So if we improve that, our chances will get better because we've been swinging pretty good."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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