Cards to open 2016 vs. division-rival Pirates

NL Central clash in Pittsburgh begins St. Louis' season; home opener set vs. Brewers

ST. LOUIS -- A season-opening series in Pittsburgh and Interleague matchups against American League West clubs highlight the Cardinals' tentative 2016 schedule, which was released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday.

The Cardinals will open the season on April 4 against division-rival Pittsburgh, which will host the Cardinals in a three-game series from April 4-7. The Cardinals, who have opened on the road for the last five years, have not begun a season in Pittsburgh since 1977.

• Tentative 2016 Cardinals schedule

The Cardinals and Pirates will also end the season against each other, with Pittsburgh scheduled to make a trip to St. Louis from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

After series in Pittsburgh and Atlanta (April 8-10), the Cardinals will host the Brewers in their home opener on April 11 (3:15 p.m. CT). The Reds (April 15-17) and Cubs (April 18-20) will follow the Brewers to town in that first homestand of the season.

The Cardinals' 20-game Interleague schedule will feature visits from the Astros (June 14-15), Rangers (June 17-19), Royals (June 29-30) and A's (Aug. 26-28). The club will play in four AL cities -- Anaheim (May 10-12), Seattle (June 24-26), Kansas City (June 27-28) and Houston (Aug. 16-17). With the Cardinals traveling to Anaheim instead of vice versa, fans will have to wait at least another three years for Albert Pujols' return to St. Louis.

The Cardinals' visit to Anaheim is part of a road trip that also includes a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (May 13-15). In total, the club will make four separate trips to the West Coast.

Whereas the Cardinals will play just 10 home games in June, the club has 17 home dates in both May and July. The Cardinals will enter the All-Star break having played on 17 consecutive days and will open the second half with 17 games before their first day off.

The team's season will end in St. Louis with series against the Reds (Sept. 26-29) and Pirates.

Additional details regarding game times, promotions and ticket pricing/availability will be released at a later date by the Cardinals.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.