The Red Sox avoid the sweep in St Louis, behind a sterling performance from David Wells. Cam Neely is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Patriots get the summer rolling with their mandatory minicamp starting today, and the NBA finals tip off tonight.

David Wells played the role of the stopper last night, shutting down the Cardinals over eight innings following a lengthy rain delay and helping the Red Sox avoid a sweep with a 4-0 victory over St Louis. Chris Snow looks at the dominant performance from the lefthander. Sean McAdam looks at Wells playing the role of the front-of-the-rotation ace, at least for one night. David Heuschkel notes that Wells has either been terrific or terrible this season, posting an E.R.A or 0.57 in his four wins and 13.21 in his four losses. Last night of course, he was terrific. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox managing to foil a Cardinal sweep behind the left arm of Wells. David Borges rounds out the game stories with his account of the action from St Louis.

Michael Silverman has more on Wells’ astounding performance. Nick Cafardo reports on hitting coach “Papa Jack” Ron Jackson and newly hired assistant coach Mike Barnett sitting down to talk about their roles and agreeing that the players need to be hearing only one voice when it comes to hitting advice. Borges looks at Manny Ramirez taking a seat last night, and remembers the slugger’s preseason prediction and how it appears to be coming true. Silverman also has a piece on Manny sitting, and how a source reveals that it may have had the desired affect on the outfielder. John Tomase takes a look at the Red Sox top draftees, noting that they got the exact two guys they wanted coming into this process. Horrigan has a brief note on yet another opposing batter getting hit by a Red Sox pitch.

Snow’s notebook says that Terry Francona will likely have a couple days off in the near future, one planned, one not. Borges’s notebook looks at Jackson and Barnett clearing the air. That is also the topic of Heuschkel’s notebook as well as Horrigan’s notebook. Kevin Millar found himself in right field last night as Manny was given the night off. McAdam’s notebook looks at this development.

John Connolly looks at that baseball factory, Franklin Pierce College, which has had players drafted in each of the last five years. Marvin Pave looks at Boston College having five players drafted in this year’s draft.

Cam Neely was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday. Kevin Paul Dupont and Stephen Harris report on the election. Some might question whether Neely played long enough or put up enough numbers to be deserving of the honor. However, he redefined a position, which is usually a ticket to the Hall of Fame whichever sport you play. Karen Guregian says that Neely is what hockey should be all about. Jackie MacMullan writes that Neely has done and accomplished even more off of the ice, tirelessly working with his foundation, The Neely House. She encourages going to the website of the foundation and making a donation. Mick Colageo also reports on Neely’s election.

The Patriots kick off their 2005 minicamp today, marking the first real get-together of their new squad. Tom E Curran says that the fight to make this team is going to “fill a few buckets of blood.” He looks down the roster and as you consider it, this could be the most talented team the Patriots have put together yet. Jerome Solomon also looks at the learning experience that this camp will provide for the new faces. Michael Felger outlines some points of interest to look for in the sessions.

Peter May looks at the NBA Finals finally getting underway this evening as the Spurs prepare to play game one after having the last eight days off. May’s notebook looks at the Pistons finding their way back to the finals. Shira Springer has a brief item noting the Celtics have raised ticket prices, but she also notes that the package sent to prospective season ticket holders promoted the younger players…Al Jefferson, Tony Allen and Delonte West, not Paul Pierce or Ricky Davis or any veteran. As she notes, you can’t draw much from that, other than the fact that the team is counting on the youngsters to be big.

Ron Borges has a feature on Irish heavyweight champion Kevin McBride, who has wanted to fight Mike Tyson since he was a kid. He’ll get his chance on Saturday night when the pair faces off in Washington D.C.

Don’t forget to check the NY Sports Headlines page to see the latest news from The Big Apple. The Times has a piece on the Red Sox heading into Chicago to face the Cubs.

ABC has Spurs/Pistons at 9:00

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