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Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash ejected as slumping Rays lose 3-2 to Royals

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Tampa Bay manager wasn't around to witness the final six innings of another frustrating defeat Friday night.

hit his 15th homer, pitched into the seventh inning and the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals handed the Rays a 3-2 loss, their fourth in five games.

Cash was ejected in the third inning by first base umpire Brian O'Nora for arguing after was called out on a grounder to short with runners on second and third with two outs. Cash couldn't challenge the call after having lost a challenge earlier.

"It stings but it's part of baseball," Cash said. "I think the replay shows enough."

O'Nora had another call overturned after a Kansas City challenge in the first inning when was called out on what was changed to an infield single.

Morales put the Royals up 3-1 with a two-run shot in the third off that struck an overhanging catwalk and landed on the field, causing some confusion.

"I was confused in a couple of ways," Morales said through an interpreter. "I didn't think I hit the ball that well, and I didn't see where it actually hit."

Ramirez (10-5) said the damage had been done regardless of the ruling.

"Whatever the decision was, I knew it was damage," he said. "A home run is just worse damage. No matter what the play was, I didn't make my pitch."

Morales has 89 RBIs this season, including a majors-best 46 with two outs.

Volquez (12-7) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. , the third Kansas City reliever, got three outs for his 29th save.

The teams combined for only three hits — all two-out singles — after the third inning.

"We knew coming into this entire series, you've got to get the starter because when you get behind, their bullpen is quite a weapon for them," Cash said.

Ramirez gave up three runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings for the Rays, who fell 3 1/2 games back in the crowded second AL wild-card race. Ramirez has given up nine home runs in his last 11 starts after giving up only four before that.

The Rays closed to 3-2 in the third as Daniel Nava scored when left fielder dropped 's routine fly for an error.

Kansas City took a 1-0 lead on Orlando's second-inning RBI single. The Rays tied it at 1 in the bottom half when had a run-scoring double.

Zobrist had the infield single and a double in four at-bats during his first game at Tropicana Field since being traded by the Rays to Oakland in January. Zobrist, obtained by the Royals from the Athletics on July 28, played nine years for Tampa Bay and received a standing ovation after a video tribute was shown on the scoreboard prior to the game.

THE CLOSE ONES

Seven of the Rays' last 10 games have been decided by one run. The Rays have are 22-23 in one-run games and 38-36 in 74 games decided by one or two runs, the most in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: LF , out since July 9 with a strained left groin, played in his sixth game with Triple-A Omaha.

Rays: OF (broken left hand) is looking to return in mid-September. He has sidelined been since Aug. 2.

UP NEXT

Rays RHP (6-6) and Royals RHP (2-0) are Saturday night's scheduled starters. Odorizzi has five straight no-decisions, which ties the Tampa Bay team record set by current Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland in 2000.

PHOTO: Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, right, argues a close play at first base with umpire Brian O'Nora on a ground-out by Logan Forsythe during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cash was ejected. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, right, argues a close play at first base with umpire Brian O'Nora on a ground-out by Logan Forsythe during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cash was ejected. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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PHOTO: Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, right, argues a close play at first base with umpire Brian O'Nora on a ground-out by Logan Forsythe during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cash was ejected. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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