ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Brandon Guyer and Kevin Kiermaier homered, and the Tampa Bay bullpen held the Kansas City Royals to one hit over five innings Sunday in the Rays' 3-2 win.
Kiermaier's sixth-inning homer off Luke Hochevar (1-1) broke a 2-2 tie. It was Kiermaier's second homer in two games and sixth of the season.
Xavier Cedeno (3-1) got the win in relief while Brad Boxberger pitched the ninth for his 32nd save.
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Four of Kansas City's seven hits came during a two-run third that included RBIs by Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain.
The AL Central-leading Royals, who lost for only the sixth time in 23 games, had a chance to tie it in the eighth when Rays first baseman James Loney completed a double play by throwing Zobrist out at the plate.
Rays starter Nathan Karns 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 Danny Duffy 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.
Royals: OF Alex Rios, out of the lineup for the second straight game with a virus, was sent back to Kansas City. ... RHP Ryan Madson has been resting since Aug. 22 to recover from a dead-arm period.
Rays: OF Steven Souza Jr. (broken left hand) is hitting off a tee and doing soft toss. He expects to be back in mid-September.
Royals: RHP Johnny Cueto (9-9) looks to end a personal two-game skid when he faces Detroit RHP Justin Verlander (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 Chris Archer (11-10) will go against Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chin (8-6) Monday night to start a three-game series in Baltimore.