Bucs to bookend 2016 season vs. Cardinals

Tentative schedule for Interleague Play has Pittsburgh facing AL West

Bucs to bookend 2016 season vs. Cardinals

CINCINNATI -- The Pirates will begin and end the 2016 season facing the team they've spent most of this year chasing.

The Bucs' tentative 2016 schedule was released on Tuesday, and it is bookended by two series with the National League Central rival Cardinals. The season opener will come against the Cards on April 4 at PNC Park, and they will conclude the regular season with three games at Busch Stadium from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Tentative 2016 Pirates schedule

It will be the first time since 2007 that the Pirates host the Cardinals in their home opener. When their season-opening series ends April 7, they will travel to Cincinnati and Detroit for their first road trip of the season.

The Pirates will square off in Interleague series with the Tigers, in a four-game home-and-home series April 11-14, and all five American League West clubs.

Pittsburgh is scheduled to host the Angels (June 3-5), Mariners (July 26-27) and Astros (Aug. 22-24) and travel to face the Rangers (May 27-29), Mariners (June 28-29) and A's (July 1-3).

The Angels will be visiting PNC Park for the first time since 2004. In Texas, the Pirates are set to see a familiar face: Rangers manager Jeff Banister, the Bucs' longtime bench coach.

The Pirates will also embark on an early season jaunt out west, riding a 10-game road trip through San Diego, Arizona and Colorado from April 19-28.

The Bucs and Cardinals are slated to meet on a few other notable occasions, as they will be playing in St. Louis on July 4 and on Labor Day (Sept. 5) at PNC Park.

Before ending their season in St. Louis, the Pirates will wrap up their home schedule with a seven-game homestand against the Nationals (Sept. 23-25) and Cubs (Sept. 26-29).

The Pirates are currently taking deposits for 2016 season-ticket memberships. Fans can reserve their tickets by visiting pirates.com/memberships or calling 1-800-BUY-BUCS.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.