• Appel will start for the Astros on Sunday at Minute Maid Park when they host El Aguila de Veracruz of the Mexican League. That game, set to begin at 1:10 p.m., will be the second of a two-game exhibition set. The first game is scheduled for Saturday at 7:10 p.m. CT, with lefty Brett Oberholtzer taking the mound for the Astros.
• The Major League portion of the traveling party will depart San Antonio after Friday's game, with mostly the projected Double-A Corpus Christi roster staying behind to play the Big League Weekend series finale with the Rangers on Saturday.
• Former catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, who played for the Rangers from 1991-2002 and the Astros in 2009, caught the ceremonial first pitch on Friday, thrown by Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. ...the ball was delivered by members of the U.S. Army North Rappel Team, who descended from the ceiling rafters and landed on the outfield turf.
• The dimensions at the Alamodome probably wouldn't pass the smell test for a regular-season Major League game, but for exhibition baseball, they were simply a fun topic of discussion. Garnering the most attention was the right-field line, measuring a modest yet eyebrow-raising 271 feet with a 16-foot high fence. The only big league facility that might be comparable is Boston's Fenway Park which measures at 310 feet to left field and 302 to Pesky's Pole in right.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.