The St. Louis Cardinals announced their 2012 home regular season schedule and will open their home slate Friday, April 13 vs. Chicago. It marks the latest home opener for the Cardinals since 1991 when the team’s first home game was on April 19 vs. Philadelphia. The Redbirds’ opening homestand features three games against division rival Chicago (April 13-15), followed by three vs. the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cardinals play division opponents in each of their first four home series through May 3. The club’s home interleague action features a three-team homestand that brings the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals to St. Louis (June 8-17). Following a 9-game road-trip, the club returns home for a 10-game homestand facing Pittsburgh for three, the Colorado Rockies for four games and Miami for three games (June 29-July 8) leading into the All-Star break.

The other three team homestand falls in August (14-23) when the club is home for 16 of 19 games August 3-23. St. Louis will host the Chicago Cubs two additional times besides the home opening weekend; hosting a two-game Monday-Tuesday series, May 14-15, and a three game weekend series in July (20-22). The Cardinals will host both Milwaukee and Pittsburgh for three, three-game series each. However division opponent Houston will visit St. Louis just twice next season, with their first visit not coming until August 21-23.

Cincinnati is also at Busch Stadium on just two occasions next season. After hosting the Reds for three games during the opening homestand, the Cardinals don’t see the Reds at Busch Stadium until the final three games of the season (October 1-3). St. Louis will close the season at home with three games vs. the Washington Nationals (Sept. 28-30) followed by the final three vs. the Reds as the season once again ends on a Wednesday.

The Redbirds will host every National League East and West team one time during 2012, playing the National League East 16 times at home and the National League West teams 17 times. St. Louis will host 43 games at Busch Stadium before the All-Star break, and 38 after the break. The team has nine home dates in April, 15 in May, 11 in June, 15 in July, a season-high 16 in August and 15 September/October home games.