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The Orioles were off yesterday and begin a nine-game homestand tonight against the National League: Colorado, Washington and Arizona.

While the baseball draft that was held yesterday doesn't get nearly the attention that football and basketball drafts do, it's still the starting point for developing young talent. The Orioles, with the fifth pick overall, actually got a little lucky and had the opportunity to nab Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters. As a junior this season in 57 games, Weiters batted .358 with 17 doubles, 10 home runs and 59 RBIs. If Baltimore signs him by Aug. 15 (the deadline before he would re-enter next year's draft), he'd be assigned to a minor league club. After that, well with baseball draft picks, it's harder to tell. Two years ago, the Orioles also took a catcher, Brandon Snyder, and he's playing first base at Delmarva.

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* Boston's Curt Schilling came within an out of his first no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Oakland. The Athletics' Shannon Stewart lined a single to right after Schilling, now 6-2, had shaken off catcher Jason Varitek on the pitch. It was the third one-hitter of his career.

"We get two outs, and I was sure, and I had a plan, and I shook Tek off," Schilling said. "And I get a big 'what if?' for the rest of my life." Before that, the only other base runner had reached on an error. David Ortiz homered in the first inning for the game's only run.

Had Schilling, 40, been able to get Stewart, he would have become the third-oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter. Nolan Ryan did it twice after age 40 and Cy Young once.

* We talked about the NBA Finals as being a story line pitting Man (Cleveland's LeBron James) vs. Machine (the San Antonio Spurs). Chalk one up for the well-oiled Machine.

The Spurs grinded away last night, winning Game 1 at home convincingly, 85-76. It really wasn't that close. The Cavs managed to stay within striking distance through halftime (40-35) even though James didn't have a field goal, but then San Antonio did its thing in the third quarter -- hounding James and rebounding on defense, and moving the ball around to the open man on offense. The Spurs won the quarter, 24-14, and that was it. James shot 4-for-16 and was 1-for-10 at one point. He finished with 14 points. Tony Parker had 27 points and Tim Duncan 24 for San Antonio.

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