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Astros face another unfamiliar foe in Orioles

HOUSTON -- While the Astros have become familiar with unfamiliar foes in their first season in the American League, the Orioles are an especially unknown entity to the organization.

Baltimore and Houston have met just nine times, playing a trio of three-game sets between 2003 and '08.

This week's series in Minute Maid Park marks the Orioles' second visit to Houston, the first coming nearly 10 years ago (June 3-5, 2003).

"I faced the Orioles in 2008, but it's pretty much a different team," said longtime Astros reliever Wesley Wright. "It's more exciting for the fans to get a new experience, especially since the Orioles are one of the best teams this year."

Sweeps have been the norm in the two teams' tilts. Houston swept that series 10 years ago, but Baltimore brought out the brooms for the eventual National League champions in 2005. The Orioles also took all three games in the '08 series.

Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez said this series is the latest example of the team's continuing adjustment period in the AL.

"It's mostly all new players to you, and you don't really have full scouting reports or too much experience against them," Martinez said. "Everything's new and this series is definitely like that, too. At least we're used to it."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for
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