ANAHEIM -- Brandon Barnes, who grew up blocks from Angel Stadium, isn't the only Astros player enjoying a homecoming this weekend. Third baseman Matt Dominguez is from Van Nuys, which is about 42 miles from Anaheim, and relief pitcher Hector Ambriz is from Placentia, which is only about five miles from the ballpark.
The trip home marks the first in a Major League uniform for Dominguez, who never got a chance to play in Dodger Stadium while he was with the Marlins, so he has a lot of family coming. He estimates about 100 friends and family members will be in attendance Sunday.
"I always look forward to coming to the West Coast because that's where I grew up," he said. "Coming here and even to Oakland, I have some family up there, too. I think a lot of people are looking forward to seeing me play, and I'm looking forward to playing here."
Dominguez's father, Fernando, is a copy editor on the sports desk of the Los Angeles Times and will be in attendance this weekend.
Ambriz, who attended UCLA, spent the off-day Thursday at his parents' house, which meant tons of home cooking. His mother made enchiladas for lunch and his father barbecued in the back yard for dinner.
"I gained eight pounds, but it was well worth it," he said.
Ambriz actually grew up cheering for the Dodgers, but he attended more games in Anaheim because it was so close.
"When I was younger I would go to the front yard and see the Big A and see if the Angels had won because they'd light it up," he said.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com 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.