ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay reached its high-water mark of 2018 by just putting the ball in play.
A throwing error on Kevin Kiermaier's bases-loaded grounder in the bottom of the ninth inning helped the Rays complete their first season sweep of an American League opponent with a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
"A win is a win," Kiermaier said. "We'll take it any way possible."
Tampa Bay swept the four-game series and finished 7-0 against the lowly Royals this year. The only other season sweep in team history that included multiple series was a four-game wipeout of the Marlins in 2013.
"We always say, `Put the pressure on the defense," Kiermaier explained. "Anytime you put the ball in play, you at least give yourself a chance."
Sergio Romo (3-3) worked a perfect ninth and the Rays improved to a season-high six games over .500 (67-61) with their fifth consecutive victory. It is Tampa Bay's sixth winning streak of at least five games this year.
Kansas City, which has lost five in a row and 17 of 21, fell a franchise-record 52 games under .500 at 38-90 and was eliminated from the playoff race.
"We wanted to salvage one at the end of the series," Flynn said. "You don't want to be the guy that comes in here and gives that one up."
Tampa Bay appeared to go up 4-3 later in the seventh on Kiermaier's grounder, but the run was taken away after a replay review determined Adames made an illegal slide at second base. The call was changed to an inning-ending double play.
"There were a lot of odd things that took place in that game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Adames hit a run-scoring infield single against Danny Duffy during a two-run third.
Duffy, making his first start in 12 days due to a left shoulder injury, allowed two runs and six hits over five innings.
"The last start I felt really bad," Duffy said. "This start I felt really good."
Glasnow allowed three runs, five hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out eight.
Royals: INF Adalberto Mondesi (hamstring) was out of the lineup. ... RHP Ian Kennedy (left oblique) will throw a simulated game Friday. ... OF Jorge Bonifacio (lower back stiffness) missed his third straight game.
Rays: OF Tommy Pham (dislocated right ring finger) felt soreness hitting off a tee but could play this weekend.
Former Royals George Brett, Mike Sweeney, Bret Saberhagan and Reggie Sanders will visit U.S. troops at four locations in the Middle East next month as part of a USO trip. The group will watch a Sept. 11 telecast with members of the Missouri National Guard's 35th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Merrifield had three hits, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Rays LF Mallex Smith went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in seven of his last eight games. ... The Royals have been swept 15 times this season. . Tampa Bay has played 52 one-run games, most in the majors. The Rays are 24-28 in those games.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Reliever Michael Lorenzen looks for spot in Reds' outfield
The Cincinnati Reds begin their search for a center fielder this weekend when they open spring training play. They have some intriguing options to replace Billy Hamilton, including the rare combination of a reliever who also plays the outfield.
Bryce Harper meets with Phillies owner John Middleton in Las Vegas
Phillies owner John Middleton is meeting with free agent Bryce Harper in Las Vegas, but barring something unexpected, a deal will not be completed Friday night, sources told ESPN.
Mets say Jed Lowrie (knee) should be ready for Opening Day
The Mets said Friday that infielder Jed Lowrie should be ready for the start of the regular season after an MRI on his sore left knee was negative.
Kershaw says it's 'best' to takes a few days off
Clayton Kershaw says now is a good time for him to rest, as he recently said a bullpen session "didn't feel right."
Kershaw taking time off from throwing
Keith Olbermann explains that Clayton Kershaw is taking some time off from throwing at Dodgers spring training.
Judge rules Lorena Martin, Seattle Mariners must go to arbitration
Lorena Martin's wrongful termination lawsuit against the Seattle Mariners must be resolved in private arbitration rather than in court following Friday's ruling by a judge in King County (Washington) Superior Court.