It's official: Sox will open 2013 in Bronx

The Red Sox will open next season on the road on Monday, April 1 against the New York Yankees and travel to Los Angeles to face old friends (and new Dodgers) Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford from Aug. 23-25, according to the 2013 schedule released today by Major League Baseball.

An early draft of the schedule was obtained by ESPNBoston.com in July and underwent few revisions before being made official.

The Sox will open the season in Yankee Stadium with a three-game set April 1-4 (with an off day on April 2), followed by three games in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The home opener will be Monday, April 8 against the Baltimore Orioles, who are in for three games, followed by four with the Tampa Bay Rays.

In one stretch in April, the Sox play 17 of 20 games at Fenway Park.

The 2013 schedule includes several format changes caused by the shift of the Houston Astros to the American League. Houston moves from the NL Central to the AL West, creating six divisions of five teams each. Under a move announced last November, the Astros will become only the second team since 1900 to switch leagues, following Milwaukee's entry to the NL for the 1998 season.

Because there will be 15 teams in each major league for the first time, interleague play is necessary nearly every day. Since its inception in 1997, interleague play had been concentrated mostly during periods in late May and June.

The Astros are scheduled to visit Boston for the first time next season April 25-28, with the Sox headed to Houston Aug. 5-7.

The majority of Boston's interleague games will be played against teams in the National League West. The Colorado Rockies (June 25-26), the San Diego Padres (July 2-4) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (Aug. 2-4) are scheduled to visit Fenway. The Sox have trips scheduled to San Francisco (Aug. 19-21) and to Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium (Aug. 23-25), as well as two-game set in Denver against the Rockies (Sept. 24-25). The Sox also have a home-and-home set scheduled against the Phillies, with two games in Boston (May 27-28), followed by two games in Philadelphia (May 29-30).

The Sox will go to Yankee Stadium a second time (May 31-June 2; weekend series) before the Yankees make their first visit to Boston. The Yanks don't make their first visit until after the All-Star break (July 19-21; weekend series), with subsequent trips scheduled Aug. 16-18 (weekend) and Sept. 13-15 (weekend). The Sox will be in New York a third time from Sept. 5-8 (weekend).

Eleven of the 15 series on the final weekend of the regular season, Sept. 27-29, will involve division rivalries. The Sox close the season with a three-game series in Baltimore (Sept. 27-29).

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.