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4/13/2014 7:38 P.M. ET

Jackie Robinson Day humbling for Kendrick, Wilson

ANAHEIM -- Jackie Robinson Day has been celebrated annually by Major League Baseball since 2004, remembering the man and the moment when the Brooklyn Dodgers infielder broke the color line in 1947.

To Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, who is black, and left-hander C.J. Wilson, who is white, the message never gets old.

"Without Jackie Robinson doing what he did, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you," Kendrick said Saturday.

"Americans should be the most tolerant people in the world," Wilson said. "Back then, we weren't."

Robinson's No. 42 has been retired by all Major League teams, but it's worn by every player, manager and coach on Jackie Robinson Day each April 15.

"It's a signature day for the sport," Wilson said. "Not too many singular person's name, number and performance can be celebrated like that, once a year and on a daily basis, and on a global scale."

Kendrick said each celebration "Gives me more and more appreciation for what he achieved, and what a special person he was to be able to do that. You have to be strong. I don't know if I would be able to do that -- be able to endure what he did, and make a statement. He got everything moving in the right direction."

Wilson said Robinson, the pioneer, "Made it possible for us to see some of the best players in the world. Not just the black players, but the Latin players, and anyone else who was excluded before. It's good to have a constant reminder of that."

The Angels, who host the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on Tuesday night, plan an in-game video tribute to Robinson.

Cowgill downplays big night against his former team

ANAHEIM -- Collin Cowgill, the Mets' Opening Day center fielder in 2013, had a big game against his old team Saturday night.
Cowgill homered and singled in three at-bats, and threw speedy Eric Young out at the plate from left field in the first inning.
"I treat every game, every team I play against, the same," said Cowgill, who was traded to the Angels in June for Kyle Johnson. "All I want is to win, and we came up short last night [the 7-6 loss to the Mets in 13]."
Asked about Young challenging his arm on a short fly, Cowgill said: "He's going to challenge everybody."
It was Cowgill's third game leading off this season. Asked if it's a good role for him, he said: "I just like being in the lineup, wherever they put me, and on the field, wherever they put me."
Manager Mike Scioscia said Cowgill and J.B. Shuck, who will platoon in left field while slugger Josh Hamilton [thumb] is out, "have the potential to be productive in that role. They're both tough outs."
Shuck hit his third Major League homer in 521 at-bats Friday in the series opener. He got the start Sunday against Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon.

Alvarez, Herrera added to roster; De La Rosa optioned

ANAHEIM -- The Angels recalled left-hander Jose Alvarez from Triple-A Salt Lake, selected the contract of right-hander Yoslan Herrera from the same club, and optioned right-handers Dane De La Rosa and Matt Shoemaker to the Bees before Sunday's game against the Mets.

Left-hander Brian Moran, a Rule 5 draftee from Toronto, was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Herrera. Moran is planning to have Tommy John surgery.

Manager Mike Scioscia was concerned about De La Rosa, a 75-game workhorse last year, after his shaky season debut in Saturday's 13-inning loss to the Mets.

De La Rosa, activated Friday after missing much of the spring because of right forearm tightness and elbow inflammation, retired only one of three hitters he faced in the eighth inning. But it wasn't so much the results; De La Rosa did not resemble the reports from his Minor League rehab outings.

"Dane didn't look very crisp," Scioscia said after the game. "Hopefully, he's on his way to getting where he needs to be, because we need him."

Based on Sunday's moves, De La Rosa wasn't considered ready. Shoemaker pitched three innings Saturday and took the loss on Anthony Recker's 13th-inning home run.

"He (De La Rosa) needs to work on stuff," Scioscia said after Sunday's game. "Dane needs to find it. The Major Leagues is not the forum to go out and find stuff.

"There's a lot of things that might cause a drop in velocity and command; Mechanics, for one. His first couple outings of spring, he was throwing BBs. It's still in there. Last year, at this time, he grew into his velocity. I don't think he's that far off track."

Albarez, 0-1 with an 8.38 ERA at Salt Lake, will fill Shoemaker's long-man role. Herrera pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in four relief appearances for the Bees, striking out six.

Worth noting

Raul Ibanez started at first base Sunday, with Albert Pujols moving to DH. Ibanez played 11 innings at first in the spring, and has 136 games of Major League experience there. But his last start at first came for Seattle in 2005.

Ian Stewart gave David Freese a start off at third base.

Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.