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Rays notes: Team pleased with Braun decision

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Published:   |   Updated: July 24, 2013 at 06:15 AM

BOSTON - The season-ending suspension handed out Monday to Ryan Braun of the Brewers is another black eye for baseball, according to Rays LHP David Price, but he said it is one the game must wear in an effort to move forward.

"We want to have a level playing field," Price said. "I want to see the guy that has the best numbers at the end of the year, in my mind I want to feel like that's the guy that worked the hardest in the offseason, that put in the most work, that's the guy that came to the field every day and busted his tail. That's what you want to see, and that's what you want to believe, so it's a step in the right direction."

2B Ben Zobrist said he is glad MLB is taking drastic measures to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs by issuing what is expected to be more long-term suspensions to the remaining players involved in the Biogenesis scandal. Zobrist said that will reduce the suspicion cast over all big-league players.

"It's just one of those things you don't want to believe about guys," Zobrist said. "You want to believe guys are clean and doing things clean, but it's almost come to the point where people are assuming the worst about even clean players. I think all those guys who are clean out there playing the game really want everything to be on the up-and-up, and that's the bottom line."

LHP Matt Moore, the Rays' union rep, said he hopes the groundbreaking suspensions will "scare" other players away from using PEDs.

"It's obviously the right thing to do," Moore said. "We all want to be on a level playing field and wake up in the morning feeling the same way."

More on Moore

According to Elias, Moore's complete-game shutout Monday was only the 66th by an opposing left-hander in the 102 years the Red Sox have played at Fenway Park, and the first in the past 17 seasons.

Moore was also the ninth lefty to blank the Red Sox in Boston on two or fewer hits.

Moore downplayed the historical significance of the first complete-game shutout of his career, but he said it was a big moment.

"It's definitely something that's been on a to-do list for me for a long time," he said. "(Monday) night was very special, to do it on the road against this team."

Manager Joe Maddon said before Monday's game that Moore would benefit from pitching in last week's All-Star game.

"You become a different person," Maddon said. "The heart beats a little bit slower. You process information better. Things just don't end up being in a hurry. Whenever that happens your mechanics get better, you repeat things better . I just think at this particular moment, the complete-game shutout here, a lefty in this yard doing that kind of stuff, definitely does something for his psyche."

Most watched TV

Monday's 3-0 win against the Red Sox was the highest-rated Rays game this season on Sun Sports and the highest-rated prime-time show in the Tampa Bay market Monday.

The game drew an 8.8 household rating average and peaked at 10.8.

The Rays averaged a 5.6 household rating for July prior to the game. That's an 18 percent improvement over last July, according to Sun Sports.

Monday's game was the most-watched Rays game on Sun Sports since Sept. 28, 2011, when the Rays beat the Yankees on the final night of the regular season to clinch the wild card.

$2 tickets for kids

The Rays will hold a $2 Kids Night on July 31 against the Diamondbacks. Fans can purchase up to three $2 tickets for children ages 2 to 14 with a purchase of a full-priced ticket.

The offer is available only at raysbaseball.com.

Noteworthy

SS Yunel Escobar set a franchise record for shortstops with his 53rd errorless game Monday. . DH Luke Scott's 13-game hitting streak ended Monday. . Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Rays' game on Aug. 4 against the Giants and former FSU standout Buster Posey. ... C Mark Thomas has been suspended for 50 games without pay for a second violation for a drug of abuse under baseball's minor league program. The 25-year-old is hitting .151 with four homers and 23 RBIs this season for Double-A Montgomery.

Roger Mooney

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