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No. 3 Seminoles face 1st ACC road test at Wolfpack

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No. 3 Seminoles face 1st ACC road test at Wolfpack

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Third-ranked Florida State is going on the road for the first time in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the chance to tighten an already firm grip on its division.

It could also be North Carolina State's last chance to stay in the Atlantic Division race.

The Seminoles (5-0, 2-0) have already beaten Clemson at home, and a win against N.C. State on Saturday night would give the preseason ACC favorite victories against the two teams projected to be their biggest challengers for the division crown.

They'll arrive here to find a rowdy crowd in a stadium where the ranked Seminoles lost to the Wolfpack (3-2, 0-1) in their last visit here two years ago.

``We'll have our hands full,'' Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. ``We'll have to bring our A-game. We'll have to be really focused and play a great game. I like the way our kids are working. I like the development we're making. We're beginning to make little strides each week.''

The Seminoles practiced with speakers turned up and having quarterback EJ Manuel whisper in the huddle to force the offensive players to focus and prepare for crowd noise.

``It gets loud,'' Manuel said. ``They have great fans just like we do. Their fans are right up on you as far as being on the visitor's sideline. The fans are right on your back. I enjoy those kind of things. They can say what they want about us but we're still going to play football games.''

Florida State has been dominant in just about every game and ranks among the nation's statistical leaders in most major offensive and defensive categories. The Seminoles rank sixth nationally in scoring offense (51 points), ninth in total offense (544 yards), seventh in scoring defense (11 points) and third in total defense (201 yards).

The Seminoles have won every game by at least 12 points, including last week's 30-17 win against South Florida in their first road game.

``It's a different breed of cat than we've been playing,'' Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said.

N.C. State entered the year with hopes of contending for the ACC title thanks to the return of quarterback Mike Glennon and All-American cornerback David Amerson. But Glennon and the offense keep making mistakes, while Amerson has been shaky in the secondary.

Those problems were evident in the Wolfpack's two biggest games so far.

In the opener against Tennessee in Atlanta, Glennon threw four interceptions while Amerson was beaten on a pair of long touchdowns in a 35-21 loss in a performance that drained some of the buzz that had built through the preseason around Raleigh.

Then, after three straight wins, the Wolfpack turned in a mistake-filled performance in last weekend's 44-37 loss at Miami.

N.C. State committed six turnovers and committed 14 penalties - its highest total under O'Brien - for 100 yards. In addition, Amerson was beaten on four of Stephen Morris' five touchdown passes, including a 76-yarder when he thought the play was dead on an offside call and the receiver sprinted right by him for the catch.

``I go back to the fact that we have nobody to blame but ourselves in losing those two games,'' O'Brien said. ``We feel that we lost them. I don't think anybody in this building feels we've been beaten by anybody other than ourselves and that's what's frustrating to this point. ... That's the challenge and the great part of coaching and being around kids and making sure they get focused. And sometimes here we lose our focus, but I think we'll be focused on Saturday night against this football team coming in.''

The team's effort to regroup included a players-only meeting earlier in the week. Safety Earl Wolff said the message was simple.

``Basically we said, `If you're not all-in,''' Wolff said, ``'you can get out right now.'''

While the turnovers, penalties and shaky play from Amerson are a concern, N.C. State will also have to worry about a reshuffled offensive line against the ACC's top pass rush with 15 sacks.

Saturday night's game marks the first time a top-five opponent has visited Carter-Finley Stadium since 1998. That year, the Wolfpack upset the No. 2 Seminoles 24-7.

N.C. State's players can look to more recent history for motivation. Last season, the Wolfpack upset No. 7 Clemson 37-13 in the program's first win against a top-10 team under O'Brien.

``I feel like everybody's up to the competition,'' Wolff said. ``We're playing at home with a great crowd. I wouldn't ask to be anywhere else.''

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Associated Press writer Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.

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Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

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USA TODAY Sports

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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