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Gruber Is Put on Waivers, Then Angels Lose to Tigers

From Staff and Wire Reports

The Angels gave up on third baseman Kelly Gruber, then their bullpen gave up a lead against the Detroit Tigers.

The Angels reinstated Gruber from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, then put him on waivers, ending a relationship that seemed doomed from the start.

In the game that followed in Detroit, the Tigers rallied for a 10-6 victory. Chuck Finley pitched five innings before leaving with tightness in his upper left back. He left with a 6-3 lead that his bullpen couldn’t hold.

Gruber, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Luis Sojo and cash last December, suffers from bulging disks in his neck. Doctors have told him his career is in jeopardy.

He stunned Angel management when he announced not long after the trade that he was experiencing shoulder pain. Gruber, 31, underwent rotator cuff surgery on Feb. 16 and didn’t play his first game for the Angels until June 4.

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In 18 games before returning to the disabled list on July 4, he batted .277 with three home runs and nine runs batted in.

The Blue Jays agreed to pick up $1.7 million of Gruber’s $4-million 1993 contract, but the Angels were still left with a $2.3-million tab for those 18 games.

Manager Buck Rodgers left little doubt that Gruber did not figure in the club’s plans and it seemed only a matter of time before a move was made.

In the game, Detroit catcher Chad Kreuter hit home runs from both sides of the plate. The Tigers had 10 hits in three innings against four Angel relievers.


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