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Spokane Indians end seven-game losing streak with easy win

YAKIMA – The Spokane Indians come home today – with the playoffs on their mind – after snapping a seven-game losing streak and ending a tough road swing Wednesday night.

Ruben Sierra drove in four runs and Nicholas McBride pitched seven solid innings as the Indians pounded the Yakima Bears 9-2 to complete a three-game Northwest League series at County Stadium.

Despite finishing 1-7 on its road trip Spokane is in position to make the NWL postseason, provided East Division first-half champion Tri-City hangs on to win the second half. The other East playoff spot would go to the team with the best overall record. Spokane, at 28-32, is tied for that spot with Boise, which comes to Avista Stadium tonight to begin a three-game series.

Sierra had a two-run single during a five-run fourth inning to spark the Indians

McBride (1-2) allowed five hits and one earned run while striking out four.

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Baseball players in minors to lose minimum wage protection

UPDATED: 11:53 a.m.

Minor league baseball players who make as little as $5,500 a season stripped of the protection of federal minimum wage laws under a provision in government spending legislation. The provision appears to pre-empt a lawsuit filed four years ago by three players alleging Major League Baseball and its teams violate the Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a work week they estimated at 50-to-60 hours.