ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals announced their 2013 regular season schedule this week in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s league-wide release. The Cardinals will start the 2013 season on the road in Phoenix on Monday, April 1 against Arizona. After three games with the Diamondbacks, and a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants, the Cardinals return to Busch Stadium on Monday, April 8 for the home opener against the division rival Cincinnati Reds. The first home series includes three games against the Reds and three games against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Throughout the season, the Cardinals face the Reds and National League Central Division opponent Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates a total of 19 times each. The Cardinals will also play two interleague series with the Houston Astros, who will move to the American League West in 2013. The Cardinals play the Astros in Houston (June 25-26) and in St. Louis (July 9-10). The Cardinals will also play every team in the American League West as part of the club’s extensive interleague schedule.

While interleague games will be played throughout the entire regular season, the Cardinals open an 11-game stretch of interleague play on Friday, June 21 as they host the Texas Rangers at Busch. The Rangers’ visit marks their first trip to St. Louis during the regular season and first visit since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. The interleague stretch continues on the road with the series in Houston and Oakland (June 28-30), as well as the club’s first visit to southern California to face the Los Angeles Angels (July 2-4). The club’s record number (20) of interleague games includes games with the Kansas City Royals (May 27-28 in KC and May 29-30 at home) and the Seattle Mariners (September 13-15 at home).

Other schedule highlights include two weekend series against the Cubs at Busch (August 9-11 and September 27- 29 to conclude the season), as well as a four game weekday series, June 17-20. The Cardinals will host 43 games at Busch Stadium before the All-Star break and 38 after the break. The team has 11 home dates in April, 14 in May, 13 in June, 11 in July, 17 in August and 15 games during September. The Cardinals will make future announcements regarding game times, ticket pricing and availability for the 2013 season.