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Astros will see new faces on first road trip

HOUSTON -- After opening their season with a six-game homestand that concluded on Sunday, the Astros will embark on their first road trip of the season. The Astros begin a nine-game, 10-day trip on Monday at Seattle, followed by visits to Anaheim and Oakland.

"They're great cities to play baseball in," said Astros catcher Jason Castro. "I'm excited to have this opportunity and looking forward to getting on the road and having hopefully a successful road trip."

After an off-day on Thursday, the Astros play the Angels Friday-Sunday, followed by three games against the A's. All three teams Houston will play on the road trip are American League West rivals.

"It's a chance to see the rest of our competition in the league," said Castro. "We don't have the opportunity to play them in Spring Training, so it will be the first time we've seen a lot of these guys. It's exciting from that standpoint.

"It's some new cities a lot of us have never been to. So that's another exciting aspect of our first road trip."

The Astros do get a break in Seattle in that they won't face Felix Hernandez in the series.

"I don't know the three guys we're going to see," said manager Bo Porter. "But if he's not pitching, that's good."

In Seattle, the Astros are scheduled to face Joe Saunders, Brandon Maurer and Blake Beavan.

"Any time you can miss an ace, that's a plus," said Castro. "He's one of the best pitchers in baseball. He won the Cy Young for a reason. His stuff is electric. I've watched him on TV and video. It's definitely a challenge and I'm sure we'll have to face him at some point."

Richard Dean is a reporter for
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