NEW YORK — The Washington Nationals will open the 2013 season at home, hosting the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on Monday, April 1 to kick off a brand new type of season in baseball.
The full schedule, announced Wednesday afternoon, features 20 interleague games as MLB transitions to a state of constant interleague play with the Houston Astros moving from the National League Central to the American League West. The schedule league-wide becomes more equitable with all teams playing 76 intra-divisional games, 66 against the rest of the league and 20 interleague.
That means the Nationals will welcome the Chicago White Sox for their first interleague series from April 9-11, will host the Detroit Tigers for two on May 7-8, and the Minnesota Twins on June 7-9. The Twins, the original Washington Senators, will return to D.C. for the first time since 1971.
The Nationals will also visit Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City in June, July and August, respectively.
The Beltway Series with the Baltimore Orioles remains, despite the Nationals playing the rest of their interleague slate against the American League Central, but it's in a modified format. The Nationals will host the Orioles to kick off a home-and-home series that begins May 27 with two games at Nationals Park. The teams will then head up the Beltway for two more May 29 and 30 at Camden Yards.
The Nationals will also see their divisional games heavily front and backloaded next season. They'll play five series against NL East opponents in April, but only eight from May through July. Then they'll play five more in August and six in September, including 21 straight divisional games to open the final month of play.
Nationals Park will play host on three holidays, Mother's Day (May 12), Memorial Day (May 27) and Independence Day (July 4), and will see its most action from June 1 through July 28, when the Nationals play 24 of 34 games at home. Sixteen of the team's final 26 games will be played on the road.
The Nationals will end the 2013 regular season on the road in Arizona after a three-game set in St. Louis. The regular season is scheduled to wrap up on Sept. 29.
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