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Jackie Robinson Day 'means a lot' to Rangers

Gallo returns to lineup; Sampson achieves milestone
@Sullivan_Ranger
April 15, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers paid tribute to Jackie Robinson before Monday’s game with the Angels on the 72nd anniversary of his historic debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Jackie Robinson Day celebrates the breaking of baseball’s color barrier and the momentous changes that Robinson helped bring to the country.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers paid tribute to Jackie Robinson before Monday’s game with the Angels on the 72nd anniversary of his historic debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Jackie Robinson Day celebrates the breaking of baseball’s color barrier and the momentous changes that Robinson helped bring to the country.

“It means a lot,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I have an 11-year-old son. When he first came home and understood what Jackie Robinson meant, we had a long talk about it and just understanding from a cultural aspect, how important that was to our society. It’s really cool to listen to my kids talk about it and how much it means to them … Jackie Robinson and the whole story.”

This marks the 11th straight season all players wore the No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day. The number was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, although Mariano Rivera was able to continue wearing it until his retirement.

“It’s something I’m thrilled to wear and very proud to wear, for what Jackie Robinson did when he started playing baseball,” Rangers closer Jose Leclerc said. “And Mariano Rivera, he is special, too. One of the best pitchers in the world and the best closer in the world.”

Gallo back in lineup

Joey Gallo was back in the lineup on Monday after missing Sunday’s game with an inner ear infection. Gallo wasn’t even at the ballpark during the game on Sunday. Gallo said the problem developed on the flight home from Arizona on Wednesday night.

“It messed me up pretty good,” Gallo said. “I couldn’t even get out of bed yesterday. I thought it was something worse than it really was. I came to the field and they sent me home. The medicine helped a lot. Today, I felt good enough to go out and compete. I don’t want to miss many games.”

Woodward said the Rangers considered giving Gallo another day off, but he took early batting practice and decided he was good to go.

Gallo entered the game in an 0-for-15 skid after getting off to a hot start during the first homestand.

“It’s tough to have that perfect approach of not chasing pitches out of the zone every time,” Gallo said. “You are not always going to be perfect. You are going to go through funks. I’m just trying to get back that feel.”

Sampson achieves milestone
Adrian Sampson allowed seven runs in four innings in his start against the Athletics on Sunday, but the Rangers rallied for an 8-7 victory, which was significant for Sampson.

It was Sampson’s ninth career Major League game -- six starts and three relief appearances -- and the first time his team came away with a victory.

“A win is a win,” Sampson said. “I’ll take it. It was exciting.”

Woodward said Sampson threw the ball well for the first three innings, but the right-hander ran into trouble with two outs in the fourth inning and ended up allowing four runs in the frame.

“I didn’t mix it enough the second time through the order,” Sampson said. “Looking at my chart, I was pretty much in the same quadrant. I didn’t make an adjustment quick enough.”

Rangers beat
• Chuck Morgan celebrated his 2,900th consecutive game as an MLB public address announcer on Monday night at Globe Life Park. Morgan has done the PA for the Rangers since 1983, except for 2002 when he was with the Royals.

• The Rangers are having Danny Santana take ground balls at first base to increase his versatility. Santana has played the other three infield positions as well as all three outfield spots during his Major and Minor League career.

• Rougned Odor (right knee sprain) and Ronald Guzman (strained right hamstring) both took ground balls on Monday but have yet to do any serious running.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.