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Lynn's solid effort erased by overtaxed bullpen

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Lance Lynn continued his recent streak of strong starts with a solid six-inning performance, but the Twins found themselves in a familiar situation, seeing the overworked bullpen giving up a late lead in yet another frustrating loss.

Reliever Ryan Pressly, who is tied for the Major League lead with 34 relief appearances in 60 games, gave up a go-ahead two-run homer to Ian Kinsler in the seventh, while Addison Reed served up a solo shot to Justin Upton in the eighth in a 4-2 defeat to the Angels on Friday night at Target Field. It's been indicative of the duo's recent struggles, as Pressly has allowed a homer in three of his last five outings and Reed has served up one in three of his last four.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Lance Lynn continued his recent streak of strong starts with a solid six-inning performance, but the Twins found themselves in a familiar situation, seeing the overworked bullpen giving up a late lead in yet another frustrating loss.

Reliever Ryan Pressly, who is tied for the Major League lead with 34 relief appearances in 60 games, gave up a go-ahead two-run homer to Ian Kinsler in the seventh, while Addison Reed served up a solo shot to Justin Upton in the eighth in a 4-2 defeat to the Angels on Friday night at Target Field. It's been indicative of the duo's recent struggles, as Pressly has allowed a homer in three of his last five outings and Reed has served up one in three of his last four.

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"I left a pitch hanging -- he hit it and made me pay for it," Pressly said. "He put a good swing on it. I probably should've gone with another pitch, but it is what it is. I wanted it down. Obviously, I left it up and that's the way it happened."

Video: LAA@MIN: Kinsler crushes go-ahead 2-run dinger

Pressly came in to protect a one-run lead, but gave up a one-out double to Martin Maldonado before getting ahead of Kinsler with a 1-2 count. But Pressly hung a curveball and Kinsler connected for his seventh homer of the season to spoil Lynn's outing.

After posting a 1.98 ERA through his first 28 outings of the year, Pressly has allowed seven runs over his last four innings, including three homers, to see his ERA rise to 3.73 on the season.

"His stuff is still good," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You don't want to second guess. He's throwing pitches that he thinks he can get outs with. He threw him the 1-2 fastball and he fouled it off and he thought he could get him to chase a curveball, but he didn't get it in the chase zone, he got it in the nitro zone."

Lynn has been trending the other way, as he's turned it around after an ugly start to the season that saw him post a 7.47 ERA through his first eight starts. Lynn gave up one run on four hits over six innings in a no-decision, lowering his ERA to 5.08. He's 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his last four outings.

"It's getting there," Lynn said. "Had the one inning where I gave up the run, threw a bunch of pitches, which cost me the ability to go deeper into the game. But overall, my stuff was good."

The lone run he allowed came in the second on three hits, including an RBI single from Maldonado, although he escaped further damage by striking out Mike Trout with the bases loaded.

Video: LAA@MIN: Lynn K's Trout to strand the bases loaded

"It didn't hurt my feelings any," Lynn said with a smile about the strikeout. "But he's a good player, and to be able to beat him right there was a big win for us, because it could have been a huge inning."

The Twins couldn't muster much offense against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, who gave up two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. Minnesota tied in the second on an RBI double from Miguel Sano that third baseman Luis Valbuena couldn't handle. And they took the lead on a go-ahead solo shot from Robbie Grossman in the sixth.

Video: LAA@MIN: Grossman crushes a solo smash to right

But the offense was quiet against the Angels' bullpen and Upton provided an insurance run with his solo shot off Reed, who has allowed six homers in 30 appearances this year.

"For Reeder, it's been probably more location-based than stuff-based," Molitor said. "We have workload issues with a lot of guys, as far as outings continuing to compile."

Video: LAA@MIN: Sano brings in Kepler on a double to left

DUFFEY OPTIONED
The Twins optioned right-handed reliever Tyler Duffey after the game and recalled outfielder Jake Cave from Triple-A Rochester before Saturday's game. Duffey has a 6.97 ERA in six appearances with the Twins this year, but had thrown five scoreless innings since coming up on May 31. Cave, who played in three games for the Twins in mid-May, was hitting .280 (52-for-186) with eight doubles, one triple, five home runs and 25 RBIs for the Red Wings.

SOUND SMART
Pressly is on pace to appear in 92 games this season, which would set the club record. Mike Marshall set the record with 90 appearances in '79.

"I'm fine," Pressly said. "Still throwing pretty hard and I've got control of all my stuff. I just made a bad pitch. I can't do nothing about it now. You just have to tip your hat to him. I left it hanging."

HE SAID IT
"Our overall record particularly in one-run games is a big reason why we are where we are. You look at teams that have been more effective in finding ways to close out games and win those close ones, Seattle comes to mind, every time I look up they're winning by one run. So, yeah, those can be swings in how your season unfolds." -- Molitor on close losses this season becoming a theme

UP NEXT
Right-hander Kyle Gibson will look for his second win of the season when the Twins host the Angels in the second game of the series on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Gibson (1-3, 3.54 ERA) allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Indians last time out and hasn't won since his first start of the season. Lefty Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 3.27 ERA) starts for the Angels.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Lance Lynn