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Kendrys Morales hits into disputed double play in Royals' 3-2 loss to Rays

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — A late comeback bid by the Kansas City Royals was stymied by a strange and disputed double play.

Batter was tagged out near the batter's box after a play at the plate to end the top of the eighth inning of the AL Central-leading Royals' 3-2 loss Sunday to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Down 3-2 with runners on first and third with one out, Morales hit a grounder that Rays first baseman fielded along the line in front of the base. Loney threw home where catcher tagged out a sliding as he tried to advance from third.

Thinking the ball was foul, Morales took a step out of the box and never headed toward first. He was tagged out by Rivera to complete the double play.

"You go back and look at the replay, obviously it's not (a fair ball)" Royals manager said. "We generally don't run on foul balls. It was a foul ball. If he sees the ball's foul, it's not a play you instinctively run on."

The play is not reviewable under the challenge rules.

"In my eyes and my mind it's a foul ball," Morales said through an interpreter. "It's a little bit frustrating. That play should be reviewable. A game shouldn't be decided on a play like that."

and homered for the Rays, who won for the sixth time in 16 games.

"Good win, exciting ballgame," Tampa Bay manager said.

Kiermaier's sixth-inning homer off (1-1) broke a 2-2 tie. It was Kiermaier's second homer in two games and sixth of the season.

(3-1) got the win in relief while pitched the ninth for his 32nd save.

Four of Kansas City's seven hits came during a two-run third that included RBIs by Zobrist and .

Rays starter gave up two runs on six hits while striking out five. It was the rookie right-hander's 19th start in which he has given up two runs or fewer, most in the AL.

Kansas City starter gave up two runs while striking out six in five innings.

Guyer led off the third with a homer off Duffy, his sixth of the season.

By salvaging the final game of a three-game series, Tampa Bay prevented the Royals from a 7-0 sweep of their season series, a feat they have not accomplished since going 12-0 against Baltimore in 1988.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: LF , out since July 9 with a strained left groin, played in his eighth game with Triple-A Omaha and is close to returning. ... OF , out of the lineup for the second straight game with a virus, was sent back to Kansas City. ... RHP has been resting since Aug. 22 to recover from a dead-arm period.

Rays: OF (broken left hand) is hitting off a tee and doing soft toss. He expects to be back in mid-September

NUMBER'S GAME

The Royals fell to 22-12 in one-run games. ... Kansas City didn't have an extra-base hit for the first time since July 24 against Houston and are 0-9 in such games this season.

HOSMER HEATING UP

Royals 1B had two hits for his second straight multihit game after an 0-for-13 slide. He has a team-best 44 multihit games this year.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP (9-9) looks to end a personal two-game skid when he faces Detroit RHP (2-6) in the opener of a nine-game homestand Tuesday night. Verlander is coming off a 5-0 shutout Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels in which he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

Rays: RHP (11-10) will go against Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chin (8-6) Monday night to start a three-game series in Baltimore.

PHOTO: Kansas City Royals' Drew Butera slides in safely to third ahead of a tag from Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria as umpire Brian O'Nora, right, looks on during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Kansas City Royals' Drew Butera slides in safely to third ahead of a tag from Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria as umpire Brian O'Nora, right, looks on during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Kansas City Royals' Kendrys Morales reacts after being tagged out to complete a double play during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays won 3-2. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
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