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Cowboys involved in fatal wreck close friends

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Cowboys involved in fatal wreck close friends

IRVING, Texas (AP) Josh Brent and Jerry Brown met in college, forming a close, unshakeable bond. Having realized his NFL dream, Brent was trying to help his roommate do the same.

But Brent wasn't starting on Dallas' defensive line when the Cowboys kicked off in Cincinnati on Sunday. He was in jail, accused of driving drunk and causing a fatal accident in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

And Brown, who'd just landed a spot on the Cowboys' practice squad, wasn't watching the Cowboys' 20-19 victory over the Bengals. He was the 25-year-old passenger in Brent's car, which struck a curb and flipped in the pre-dawn hours Saturday.

Brown, an expectant father, had promised his family that he would play professional football full-time, his grandmother said.

``He lived for football,'' Theresa Clark, 63, of St. Louis, told The Associated Press on Sunday. ``He loved it with all his heart.''

Brent, a 6-foot-5-inch, 320-pound nose guard, was arrested at the scene of the accident Saturday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a charge upped to intoxication manslaughter after Brown died.

Attorney George Milner complained that Brent's $500,000 bond was set ``16 times higher than it would have been for anybody that doesn't play for the Dallas Cowboys.'' He said the bond amount was more than the Cowboys authorized him to post and wasn't sure when his client would be released.

The two athletes' friendship, which blossomed during their three seasons at the University of Illinois, was obvious to those who knew them.

``You can't get any tighter than those two,'' Milner said, crossing his index and middle fingers. ``It was the closest family he had was Jerry Brown.''

The circumstances surrounding Brown's death didn't change his family's view of their relationship, either.

``I'm quite sure that Jerry thought the world of him and respected that young man,'' Clark said of Brent.

According to a probable cause affidavit released Sunday by Irving police, officers said they detected ``a moderate odor of alcohol'' from Brent's breath and that he ``admitted to consuming alcohol at a club,'' but wouldn't identify which one. Police said Brent gave a blood sample at the hospital on Saturday.

Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson of Champaign, Ill., confirmed Brown's final Facebook post from Nov. 29, in which he wrote that he was expecting a child and ``how the fast life isn't as fun as it use to be after living it for so long.''

``She will be here in two more months,'' Jackson said of Brown's baby daughter. ``She is going to be well loved. I have scrapbooks and everything to show her what type of father she had.''

Clark saw Brown about four or five months ago, but spoke with him frequently via Facebook.

``I have 20 grandchildren and Jerry is the oldest,'' Clark said. ``They all looked up to him. They praised him. They were all really upset and crying. They are going to miss their big cousin. He was one in a million.''

The accident happened hours before Brent was to be on a team flight to Cincinnati. Before Sunday's game, the Bengals held a moment of silence before the national anthem. Most Cowboys bowed their heads, and Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and several other players had their hands over their hearts.

On Fox's NFL Sunday pregame show, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team had focused on Brown's death in the ``last few hours.'' He didn't mention Brent.

``First of all we all know, but we remind ourselves that there is something more important than football, and this is life, and certainly the lost life of Jerry,'' Jones said. ``On the other hand, they know the best way they can honor Jerry, because he was such a hard worker, so conscientious and enthusiastic about his career.''

It marked the second straight week the NFL found itself dealing with a tragedy right before gameday.

Last Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before killing himself in front of his coach and general manager. The 25-year-old Belcher shot himself in the parking lot at the team's practice complex at Arrowhead Stadium.

In 2009, Brent pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation, according to court records.

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AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati and AP writers Sara Burnett and Michelle Janaye Nealy in Chicago contributed to this report.

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Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

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Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

For well over six seasons, Manny Machado's value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field.

All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade.

Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday.

Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"Obviously there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that," Showalter said. "That had a lot to do with it."

Plain and simple, the Orioles can't afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever.

"A month ago he wouldn't have come out of the game," Showalter acknowledged. "We know that. You know it."

After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates.

"I don't know why (Showalter) did it or not," Machado said. "He just told me, `I'm going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.'"

Machado is Baltimore's lone representative for Tuesday's showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don't appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal.

"I'm going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It's just always a blessing," Machado said. "I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization. I mean it's just been very incredible."

In a matchup between two teams staggering into the break, Texas got a first-inning grand slam from rookie Ronald Guzman but quickly gave the lead away in losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Machado ignited the comeback with his 24th homer, and Jones' bases-clearing double in the third off Mike Minor (6-6) put Baltimore ahead to stay.

"I'll be fine," said Minor, who yielded five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. "I'll reflect a little bit and then get back to it."

The game ended when Texas pinch-runner Carlos Tocci was thrown out at the plate on a double by Elvis Andrus. Running from first base, Tocci was tagged out by catcher Caleb Joseph following throws by right fielder Mark Trumbo and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"Textbook," Showalter said.

Texas manager Jeff Bannister called it a "situation where they had to throw it on line to throw Tocci out. They executed well."

Tanner Scott (1-1), the first of four Baltimore relievers, earned his first big league win.

Zach Britton, another Oriole supposedly on the trading block, worked the ninth for his fourth save, the second in two days.

Texas broke on top when Miguel Castro issued three straight walks and Guzman sent a one-out drive over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam.

It was 4-1 in the third when Joseph hit an RBI double and Jones doubled down the left-field line following a walk to Machado.

Shin-Soo Choo homered in the seventh to get the Rangers to 6-5.

STREAKY

Choo opened the game with a walk, extending to 51 his single-season club record streak of games reaching base via a hit, walk or HBP. ... Texas' Delino DeShields went 0 for 3, stretching his hitless drought to 28 at-bats. ... Jones snapped a 1-for-16 skid with his third-inning double.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RF Nomar Mazara was given the day off after hurting his hand Saturday night in the outfield.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (back) was set to make his final rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (oblique) and OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) likely won't come off the DL before August, Showalter said. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (neck strain) will be activated from the DL on Saturday or Sunday to face Toronto, Showalter said.

UP NEXT

Rangers: The rotation after the All-Star break, beginning Friday against visiting Cleveland: Martin Perez, Bartolo Colon, Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo and Minor.

Orioles: After the All-Star break, Dylan Bundy will start at Toronto on Friday night.

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner each hit a two-run single in Washington's five-run seventh inning, helping the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-1 on Sunday.

Matt Adams added two hits and scored a run as Washington salvaged a split of its four-game set against New York. A preseason favorite to win the NL East and contend for a World Series championship, the disappointing Nationals hit the All-Star break with a 48-48 record, good for third in the division.

Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) pitched six crisp innings in his second straight win. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and two hits, struck out six and walked two.

Jose Reyes drove in Michael Conforto with a fielder's choice in the second, tying it at 1, but Washington grabbed control in the seventh.

Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon opened the inning with walks against Anthony Swarzak (0-2). Tim Peterson then came in and surrendered singles to Adams and Murphy, who came off the bench to hit for Michael A. Taylor.

Jerry Blevins replaced Peterson with two out and runners on second and third. But he hit Wilmer Difo and Adam Eaton before Turner's single gave Washington a 6-1 lead.

New York wasted a solid start by Corey Oswalt, who allowed two hits in five innings. The Mets got off to a fast start this year, but hit the break last in the division with a 39-55 record, a percentage point behind fourth-place Miami.

WAITING

A steady drizzle delayed the start by 47 minutes.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) pitched 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one. Strasburg has been on the disabled list since June 10.

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes is scheduled to play five simulated innings in left field at the team's facility in Florida on Monday. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the 32-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined by a right hip flexor and strained quadriceps, could return as the designated hitter next weekend against the Yankees If he is able to play on consecutive days.

MAKING MOVES

The Nationals recalled right-hander Trevor Gott from Triple-A Syracuse. Right-hander Austin Voth, who took the loss in his big league debut Saturday, was sent back to Syracuse.

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