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Grand slam keys big inning as Volcanoes thump Indians

KEIZER, Ore. – Shilo McCall’s grand slam highlighted an eight-run third inning Thursday night as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes defeated the Spokane Indians 8-2 in Northwest League play at Volcanoes Stadium.

The Volcanoes sent 13 batters to the plate during the third and scored all eight runs after two outs. The inning included five hits, three walks and two batters hit by pitch.

Travious Relaford had the other big hit in the inning, a two-run double for a 2-1 lead.

Andrew Leenhouts (2-3) worked seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. Nick Gardewine dropped to 5-2 with the loss, allowing eight earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

The Volcanoes have outscored Spokane 23-8 in winning the first three games of the five-game series, which kicks off the start to the second half of the league season. Spokane won the North Division first-half title.

Indians manager Tim Hulett was ejected in the top of the fourth, after Marcus Greene’s solo homer cut the Volcanoes’ lead to 8-2. Spokane’s Luke Tendler doubled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 12.

Cone promoted

Indians outfielder Zach Cone was promoted to the Hickory (North Carolina) Crawdads, the Texas Rangers’ Class A team in the South Atlantic League.

Cone was tied with teammate Jose Trevino for the league lead with eight homers. Cone batted .230 with nine doubles and 26 RBIs in 36 games with Spokane.

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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.