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06/29/08 3:07 PM ET

At halfway point, Twins feeling good

After 81 games, Minnesota is just 1 1/2 games behind Chicago

MINNEAPOLIS -- At the exact halfway point of the season, the Twins are feeling good about where they stand.

With 81 games complete, they just reeled off a 10-game win streak and sit 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox for the American League Central lead.

"It got a little blurry, when we went on the 10-game winning streak, but the bottom line is the record and we're close to the top and playing good baseball right now," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We went through a real bad stretch where we just got killed, but we played through that, which is a sign of a ballclub that can handle itself. To be able to bounce back like that, it's fun to watch and we've been having fun."

With a 44-37 record, the Twins are on pace to finish well above their 79-83 record and third-place finish in 2007.

Injuries have plagued the team all year, but Minor League callups and bench players have stepped up to carry the Twins through tough times.

"We've had lots of changes. Spring Training was one of those where we had so many different people and we were trying so many different things, and we haven't stopped trying them since the season began," Gardenhire said. "I think it's been trial and error all the way up to this point, trying to find the right matches and trying to find what's comfortable.

"Injuries have played a huge part. We were going pretty good and then we lost our infield. We've just had a lot of changes."

Leslie Parker is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.