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Angels to become familiar with NL East in '14

New slate of games includes possible Trout-Harper matchup

TORONTO -- The 2014 season will see the Angels face off against the National League East, open up at home against the Mariners and finish with 19 games against American League West opponents.

Major League Baseball on Tuesday released its master schedule for next season, with Opening Day coming Monday, March 31, the All-Star Game at Target Field taking place Tuesday, July 15, and the regular-season finale occurring Sunday, Sept. 28. Game times are still undetermined, as are the two teams that will meet on the Sunday night that leads into Opening Day.

The Angels will host the Mets (April 11-13), Phillies (Aug. 12-13) and Marlins (Aug. 25-27), while traveling to Washington, D.C. (April 21-23), Philadelphia (May 13-14) and Atlanta (June 13-15). That Interleague slate will be of particular significance to Mike Trout, who grew up rooting for the Phillies -- while living about 45 miles away in South New Jersey -- and will get a chance to match up against Bryce Harper for the first time.

"It's going to be pretty cool to go back and get those two days that you don't get to be at the house and with the family; that's pretty cool," said Trout, who grew up a fan of Chase Utley and played in a couple of high school showcases at Citizens Bank Park. "It's a cool park. The fans are great.

"I've been to a couple games in the stadium as a fan," Trout added. "I'm curious how it's going to be playing. They love the Phillies. Every game I went to was pretty much sold out."

The annual four-game Freeway Series against the crosstown-rival Dodgers will take place Monday, Aug. 4, to Thursday, Aug. 7, with the first two at Dodger Stadium and the last two at Angel Stadium. It marks the latest the two teams have met since Interleague Play began in 1997.

The 162-game schedule includes 20 games of Interleague Play in addition to 76 against division rivals and 66 against non-divisional opponents.

Like this year, the Angels will play 19 games against each of their four AL West rivals (three road series and three home series against each opponent) while playing one home and road series against the 10 other AL clubs. Their season starts with a three-game home set against the Mariners, March 31 to April 2, and ends with a six-city trip through Oakland and Seattle, Sept. 22-28.

Below are other items of note regarding the Angels' 2014 schedule:

• As far as the NL East is concerned, the Angels will not be traveling to Miami or New York, and will not host the Braves or the Nationals. The Phillies are the only NL East team they will play at home and on the road, with two games at each venue.

• Just as in 2013, there will be no road trips pairing Houston with Arlington, meaning the Angels will be making six separate trips to Texas. At the start of September, they will go to Houston, then travel up to Minnesota and go to Arlington.

• The Angels do not visit Rangers Ballpark until July 10, by far the latest of any of their AL West foes.

• The Angels have previously made one other trip to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia (2008), Nationals Park in Washington ('08) and Turner Field in Atlanta ('05).

• The Angels will have four three-city trips after having only two in 2013. They are: Detroit, Washington, New York (April 18-27); Seattle, Oakland, Houston (May 26-June 5); Arlington, Boston, Oakland (Aug. 15-24); and Houston, Minnesota, Arlington (Sept. 2-11).

• Weekend home series: Mets (April 11-13), Rangers (May 2-4), Rays (May 15-18), Royals (May 23-25), White Sox (June 6-8), Rangers (June 20-22), Astros (July 3-6), Mariners (July 18-20), Tigers (July 24-27), Red Sox (Aug. 8-10), Athletics (Aug. 28-31), Astros (Sept. 12-14), Rangers (Sept. 19-21).

• Off-days per month: April: 4, May: 3, June: 3, July: 5 (including 4 for the All-Star break), August: 2, September: 3.

• Most consecutive games without a day off: 17 (June 27 to July 13, Aug. 15-31)

• Road games per month: April: 15, May: 12, June: 15, July: 9, August: 15, September: 15.

• As far as non-AL West opponents are concerned, the Angels will play seven total games against the Indians, Rays, Twins, Blue Jays, Tigers and Red Sox; six against the Yankees, Royals, White Sox and Orioles.

• The first games of the 2014 regular season will take place in Sydney, Australia, where the Dodgers and D-backs will meet March 22 to 23 (a Saturday and Sunday).

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.
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