Texas Rangers to open 2013 season in Houston on Tuesday, April 2

The Texas Rangers will open the 2013 regular season in Houston on Tuesday, April 2, the Astros first regular season game as an American League team. The Rangers home opener will take place on Friday, April 5 against the Los Angeles Angels. The complete 2013 schedule was announced today by Major League Baseball.

It will mark the first time that Texas has opened a year on the road since 2008 but will be the eighth occasion in the last 12 seasons (beginning 2001) that the club has started away from home. Next season will be the first time that Texas is scheduled to open the year on a Tuesday since 2005 (April 5 at the Los Angeles Angels). The start of the Major League Baseball regular season returns to the beginning of the week in 2013 after the Rangers opened on a Friday in 2010 and 2011.

Texas plays a three-game series at Minute Maid Park, April 2-4, the first of 19 meetings with Houston, which becomes the fifth team in the American League West next season. The Rangers and Astros have played home and home in Interleague play every year since 2001 with Texas winning the last four and five of the last six season’s series.

The Rangers open the Arlington portion of the schedule with a six-game homestand in a pair of three-game series, the Angels, April 5-7 and the Tampa Bay Rays, April 8-10. It will be the seventh time that Texas has faced the Angels in the home opener, the first since 2005.

With Houston joining the A.L. West, there will be 15 teams in each league with Interleague play taking place throughout the entire regular season. The shift also results in a more uniformed schedule for all teams. Clubs will play 19 games against division opponents (76 total games) and either six or seven contests vs. non-divisional league opponents in home and home series (66 total games). Each club will also play 20 interleague games throughout the regular season over eight series, four each at home and on the road. Interleague series featuring “prime” rivals will include back-to-back two-game series spanning both cities.

In addition to Houston, Texas will play 19 times each versus Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle. With the Astros moving to the American League, the Rangers “prime” rival in 2013 will be the Arizona Diamondbacks. The two games between the Rangers and Diamondbacks at Chase Field will be played as a day-night doubleheader on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. It marks the first time that the Rangers have had a doubleheader on their season-opening schedule since 1991, August 16 at Cleveland. Texas and Arizona will then play a pair of games in Arlington on Wednesday and Thursday, May 29-30.

The remainder of the Rangers Interleague play in 2013 features home series with the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates and series on the road with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Brewers. Texas and Milwaukee will play home and home two-game series while the other Interleague four meetings will be three-game sets.

After a one-year hiatus, the Rangers will be home on Independence Day, Thursday, July 4 against Seattle. The club also plays its final eight games of the regular season at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, hosting the Astros for three games and the Angels for four contests, September 23-29.

Game times for the 2013 schedule will be announced at a later date.