2013 Houston Astros Schedule Released: First AL Season For Franchise

Sept 11, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Three-year-old Lucas Kuznicki waves a flag during the playing of God Bless America on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in the seventh inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The Astros open American League play at home against new division rival Texas.

The Houston Astros announced the first details of their 2013 schedule on Wednesday, the first-ever American League slate for the franchise. The Astros will open the season by playing host to their in-state rival -- and new division rival --Texas Rangers on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

The date marks the first game for the Astros as members of the American League West Division. The team joins the Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, and Seattle Mariners in the new division. After the opening three-game series with the Rangers, the A's then make a visit to Minute Maid Park for another three-game set.

Astros fans will also get to reminisce of the old NL Central days in interleague play, as Houston will host former division opponents in the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals in June, followed by a home series in September with the Cincinnati Reds.

The move to the American League balances both leagues with 15 teams, and was a condition from Major League Baseball for owner Jim Crane's purchase of the franchise in 2011.

For more commentary on the Houston Astros, visit The Crawfish Boxes. For all your MLB needs, visit Baseball Nation and check out SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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