(Reuters) - Major League Baseball will return to Mexico City for the first time in 12 years when the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros play a pair of Spring Training contests, MLB said on Wednesday.
The games are scheduled for March 26 and 27.
The Padres, who last appeared in Mexico for a Spring Training contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002, will be making their seventh Spring Training trip south of the border.
San Diego first participated in exhibition games in Mexico City in 1972 and played three regular season contests in Monterrey against the New York Mets in 1996, as well as the 1999 regular season opener against the Colorado Rockies.
The Astros will return to Mexico after appearing in the last MLB games played in Mexico City -- a two-game Spring Training series against the Florida Marlins in 2004.
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to be back in Mexico City, and we are particularly excited to showcase two of our clubs that play in such close proximity to Mexico," said MLB chief operating officer Tony Petitti in a statement.
"As we further strengthen the relationship between MLB and Mexico, it is our hope that we can continue to present our game and its bright young stars to the fans of our southern neighbor for years to come."
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Martyn Herman)