Rangers notes: Delino DeShields Jr. grew up following Jackie Robinson

ARLINGTON, Texas -- In a salute to the 68th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in the majors (April 15, 1947) all major league players will wear his No. 42, the seventh straight year to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers star.

That includes players and coaches for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Their game Wednesday at Globe Life Park marks the conclusion of a three-game series that stands at a game apiece.

The Rangers have won their past four Jackie Robinson Day games, including a 2-0 record at home.

Delino DeShields Jr. (pictured), who started off in the Rangers' leadoff spot Wednesday for the first time, said he knows a good bit about Robinson from watching movies.

"Growing up, he was somebody my Dad and Mom wanted me to know about and follow," DeShields said.

DeShields' start in left field was his second of the season.

"I know my role," DeShields said. "Every day I go about my preparation like I'm starting."

Hot streak: Prior to Wednesday's game, Prince Fielder was batting .455 on the homestand, raising his overall batting average to .405.

Missing so far is Fielder's first home run, something that Elvis Andrus reminded him about after Andrus homered in Tuesday's 8-2 Rangers victory over the Angels.

"Yeah, Elvis came back saying he's got one more home run than Prince," Fielder recalled. "I'm not worried about the home runs.

"Hits are always better than outs."

Adapting quickly: Outfielder Carlos Peguero is making a great first impression with fans in Arlington, but he wasn't in the lineup Wednesday. Since his contract was purchased from Round Rock on Saturday, Peguero is batting .417 in four games. He's reached base in 10 of 17 plate appearances.

In spring training, Peguero, a non-roster invitee, batted .340 with five doubles and a home run in 21 games.

"He can drive the ball in all directions," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. "He's a big guy that can move out there in the outfield."

Banister joked his major worry is whether there is enough room between home plate and the dugout for Peguero to slow down when he scores from second base.

"We may have to get him a rip cord."

Bullpen notes: Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, recovering from a right groin strain, is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday. But rehab work still remains.

"It is accelerated spring training for him right now," said Banister. "He's got to rebuild his pitch count. We'll see where he's at and where we're at after that."

The Rangers optioned Phil Klein to Triple-A Round Rock after Tuesday's game to make room on the roster for Wednesday's starter, Anthony Ranaudo.

"We like Klein," said Banister. "He continues to be a player for us in the bullpen."

Klein needed a rest after pitching in four of the past five games. As a first-year major leaguer, Klein is option-friendly compared to veterans.

"We needed to make a move," said Banister. "It is part of life being a reliever. Play long enough and you don't have to worry about it."