MLB announces 2012 schedule

NEW YORK -- The renamed Miami Marlins will start next season in their new ballpark a day ahead of the rest of the major leagues, playing the St. Louis Cardinals on April 4.

Major League Baseball announced next season's schedule Wednesday, and the season will open in midweek for the second straight year.

The following day's schedule has Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, Toronto at Cleveland, Boston at Detroit, Atlanta at the New York Mets, Washington at the Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles at San Diego.

Openers slated for April 6 have the New York Yankees at Tampa Bay, Minnesota at Baltimore, Seattle at Oakland, the Chicago White Sox at Texas, Kansas City at the Los Angeles Angels, Colorado at Houston, St. Louis at Milwaukee, San Francisco at Arizona and Miami at Cincinnati.

Known as the Florida Marlins since starting play in 1993, the team will be renamed Nov. 11 as it prepares to move into a $515 million, retractable-roof ballpark on the site that used to be the Orange Bowl. The game against the Cardinals is likely to be televised by ESPN.

Before the formal opener, the Marlins host the Yankees in exhibitions April 1 and 2.

The 16th season of interleague play starts May 18 with matchups including the White Sox at the Cubs, Oakland at San Francisco, Baltimore at Washington, Houston at Texas, the Angels at San Diego, and Cincinnati at the Yankees in a rematch of the 1976 World Series.

The Yankees host the Mets June 8-10, and the teams play at Citi Field June 22-24.

The focus of Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 will be on Dodger Stadium, where Los Angeles hosts San Diego. The amateur draft will be June 4.

Oakland and the Rays will have a rare scheduled Sunday off Aug. 26, a day before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Next season is scheduled to end Wednesday, Oct. 3. It likely will be followed by a new round of wild-card playoffs, with the postseason probably expanding from eight teams to 10.