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Boise Hawks defeat Spokane Indians in NWL series opener

BOISE – Willson Contreras highlighted a four-run seventh inning with a two-run triple to center field Saturday as the Boise Hawks defeated the Spokane Indians 10-4 to open a three-game Northwest League baseball series at Memorial Stadium.

Boise (5-4) moved above .500 for the first time since last July and pulled within one game of Spokane (6-3) for first place in the East Division.

Brad Zapenas’ two-run single to left in the fourth off Spokane reliever Kyle Hendricks (0-1) snapped a 3-all tie.

Spokane took a 2-0 lead in the second. Brett Nicholas, who led off with a double to left, scored on a balk by Willengton Cruz with Carson Vitale at the plate. Vitale followed with an RBI single to left.

The Hawks responded with a three-run second. Yaniel Cabezas had a two-run single with the bases loaded, and the third run scored on a fielding error by center fielder Zachary Cone.

Cone atoned by leading off the third with a triple to center and scoring on Nicholas’ single to right. The Indians put runners on second and third with one out, but two flyouts ended the threat.

Hector Mayora (1-1), the second Hawks pitcher, took the win. He allowed two hits and one earned run in three innings.

Contreras finished 2 for 3 with four runs. Cabezas, who went 2 for 4, snapped a 0-for-18 slump.

Spokane designated hitter Trever Adams went 3 for 4 with two runs to boost his batting average to .320.

Spokane is 2-2 during its six-game road trip.

Spokane’s John Kukuruda will start tonight against Luis Liria.

The Indians return home Tuesday against Yakima.

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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.