ST. LOUIS -- Visits by the Red Sox and Yankees for the first time since 2005, as well as a second straight home opener against the Reds, highlight the Cardinals' 2014 schedule, which was released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday.
For the third straight year, the Cardinals will open their 162-game slate on the road, in Cincinnati on Monday, March 31, and will follow that three-game series with a stop in Pittsburgh. Those are the first of 15 straight games the Cardinals will play against National League Central opponents to begin the year.
The Cardinals will host the Reds on Monday, April 7, in their home opener; the Cubs will also visit St. Louis during that opening homestand. That will be a welcome week at home for the Cardinals, who otherwise play 17 of their first 23 games on the road. The team's longest road trip of the season -- an 11-game jaunt through Milwaukee, Washington and New York -- wraps up that road-heavy portion of the schedule.
That will be one of three three-city trips for the club during the 2014 season, and all three will take place before the All-Star break. There is a nine-game road trip from May 2-11 (Chicago, Atlanta, Pittsburgh) and a 10-game one from June 23-July 3 (Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco).
Those lengthy first-half road trips will be balanced by a string of 19 home games during a 22-game stretch from May 12-June 3.
The Yankees will be the first of four American League teams to visit Busch Stadium next season when they open a three-game series on May 26. It will be the Yankees' first ever visit to Busch Stadium III and just the second time the two teams have ever met in St. Louis during Interleague Play.
With the NL Central paired with the AL East next season, the Rays (July 22-23) and Red Sox (Aug. 5-7) will also play in St. Louis. Like the Yankees, the Red Sox have never played in the Cardinals' current stadium.
The bulk of the Cardinals' Interleague road games fall in early June, when the team will make stops in Kansas City (June 4-5), Toronto (June 6-8) and Tampa Bay (June 10-11). There is a three-game series in Baltimore scheduled for Aug. 8-10.
The Cardinals' Interleague schedule also includes a pair of home games against the Royals (June 2-3) as part of the ongoing Interstate 70 Series.
The Cardinals will end the 2014 season on the road, with three games apiece against the Cubs and Arizona. The final date of the regular season is scheduled for Sept. 28.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.