ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Brad Miller took a punch to the gut on Monday when told he was losing his starting shortstop role and being moved primarily to first base.On Thursday, he delivered the knockout blow in a victory.Miller hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2.I just go out there and play, Miller said. Its all I can really do. Try and get after it. I think Ive shown them all year how valuable I am, but at the end of the day, I have to go out and play. Thats all that matters.Tampa Bay acquired Matt Duffy on Monday in a four-player deal that sent left-hander Matt Moore to San Francisco. Duffy will take over at short when he returns next week from a strained left Achilles tendon.Miller connected on his 19th homer off Joakim Soria (4-5), who gave up three of the Rays overall four hits during his one inning.Were lucky to have him, and it doesnt matter where plays, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. We know his bat plays.Kanas City dropped to 40-2 when ahead after seven innings.In my view, it was a good pitch . it was down in the zone, Soria said. He hit it out, so it wasnt a good pitch.Brad Boxberger (1-0) worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth before Alex Colome got his 26th save despite giving up two hits during the ninth. Drew Smyly allowed two runs, five hits, one walk and struck out 10 in seven innings.Ian Kennedy gave up one hit, walked four and had nine strikeouts in six-plus innings for the Royals. Alex Gordon hit his eighth home.Tampa Bay won the final two games to split the four-game series. The Rays are 8-25 against Kansas City since the start of the 2012 season.Gordon had not homered or driven in a run in his previous 72 at-bats against left-handers this season before hitting a two-run drive off Smyly that put Kansas City ahead 2-0 in the fourth.Smyly has given up 23 homers, including six to left-handed hitters. He didnt allow a homer to a lefty last season.Kennedy entered tied with teammate Chris Young and Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey with a major league-high 26 homers allowed but hasnt given up a long ball in three consecutive starts.TRAINERS ROOMRays: RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) will make his fourth rehab start Friday night with Double-A Montgomery.MLB SANCTIONSRoyals DH Kendrys Morales received a one-game suspension and a fine for his actions following a ninth inning ejection, which included returning to the field, in Tuesday nights game. Morales appealed the ruling and started.FUTURE IN BLUE?Major League Baseball will hold a one-day free umpiring clinic for all ages at Tropicana Field on Aug. 20. Baseball officials, including MLB umpire supervisor Charlie Reliford, will also be looking for scholarship candidates to attend a one-day pro mini-camp in December. Umpire Carlos Torres, who worked the Royals-Rays series, is a one-time camp participant that received an umpiring school scholarship.MOVING DAYTampa Bay claimed C Bobby Wilson off waivers from Texas and optioned C Curt Casali to Triple-A Durham.UP NEXTRoyals: RHP Dillon Gee (3-5) will face recently acquired Toronto LHP Francisco Liriano, who went 6-11 with Pittsburgh.Rays: Rookie LHP Blake Snell (3-4) will go against Minnesota RHP Ervin Santana (4-9) in the opener of a three-game series Friday between the ALs two worst teams. Kyle Clifford Jersey . It was the kind of score that might make everyone else wonder which course he was playing. Except that Graeme McDowell saw the whole thing. Crouched behind the 10th green at Sheshan International, McDowell looked over at the powerful American and said, "Ive probably seen 18 of the best drives Ive seen all year in the last two days. Rogie Vachon Jersey . Their 38th instalment is arguably their biggest fight card to date, including three-title fights and a main event which was selected by the fans. The promotion boasts 14-straight years of business and is operated by MFC president Mark Pavelich, who is often overlooked in this country for the foundation hes established for MMA in Canada. http://www.kingsauthentic.com/authentic-luc-robitaille-kings-jersey/ . Here are his mid-season NBA awards. MVP: (KEVIN DURANT-Thunder) - Has been sensational this season and more importantly, the most consistent player in the league. Considering that his team has been without star guard Russell Westbrook and with the free agent departure of sharpshooter Kevin Martin, hes had to carry the majority of the load to not only keep his team afloat but more importantly, at an elite level. Jeff Carter Jersey . Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six. Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookies best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side. Robyn Regehr Jersey . "It was nerve-wracking, but we pulled through," said Collaros, who threw four touchdown passes to lead the Toronto Argonauts (8-4) to a 33-27 win over the Calgary Stampeders (9-3) in front of 28,781 fans at McMahon Stadium. The Mike Moroney-trained Loyalty Man has taken out the $90,000 Wodonga Cup but has had to survive a protest.Loyalty Man ($3) got home by half a length over London Fog in Fridays 1590m race with favourite Entre Nous ($2.50) another short neck away.But London Fogs jockey Daniel Moor fired in a protest alleging interference in the home straight as Loyalty Man drifted out.Stewards dismissed the objection.Jockey Patrick Moloney considered Loyalty Man an unlucky runner when fourth at Flemington at his most recent start and was happy to make amends at Wodonga to repay the faith of the horses connectionss.ddddddddddddI didnt get it right last time but I made up for it today, Moloney told Racing.com.Moloney said Loyalty Man had a lovely run in the race but added that the four-year-old was still learning.He sort of waits for them the whole way up the running, Moloney said.Hes a horse who, the way he travelled, he should have won by about five or six (lengths).But hes still learning his craft and hes got a lot of upside to him. Hopefully he can keep on going on with it. ' ' '