Astros get first look at vaunted Angels lineup

Astros get first look at vaunted Angels lineup

ANAHEIM -- The Astros' first trip here means a reunion with Albert Pujols, who was a longtime nemesis of the Astros while they were in the National League Central and Pujols was with the Cardinals. He entered Friday as a career .311 hitter with 42 homers and 112 RBIs against Houston.

It was also the Astros' first look at 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout, who has become one of the best players in the game. And don't forget Josh Hamilton, the former American League MVP winner with the Rangers.

Astros manager Bo Porter doesn't buy into the early-season struggles of Trout and Hamilton, neither of whom had homered entering Friday.

"They have good players, regardless of what the stats may say or regardless of what's happened before," he said. "We're going to have to play good baseball in order to be competitive with these guys and try to win some ballgames."

On Friday, Trout batted second in front of Pujols and Hamilton, which is about as formidable as a 2-3-4 and as you'll see in baseball.

"I watched these guys play a lot and these are the names everybody is going to point out, but there are names like [Howie] Kendrick and [Mark] Trumbo that can really hurt you," Porter said. "I don't think we should stop at those three guys. They have a really good Major League lineup."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.