MINNEAPOLIS -- There are more Interleague games and they're spread throughout the season in the Royals' portion of the new-look 2013 Major League schedule announced on Wednesday.
The tentative schedule also has Kansas City opening on the road at Chicago against the White Sox on Monday, April 1. After three games there, the Royals will head for Philadelphia to meet the Phillies in their first three Interleague games on April 5-6-7.
The home opener at Kauffman Stadium will be on Monday, April 8, against Minnesota with the Twins -- also the opponent on the next two days. Then the Toronto Blue Jays arrive for a weekend series on April 12-13-14.
This is the first Major League schedule with 15 teams in each league because the Houston Astros are switching from the National League to the American League.
Next season, there will be 20 Interleague games instead of the current 18 for the Royals. But they'll play Missouri rival St. Louis just four times instead of six. The Cardinals will be in Kansas City on Monday and Tuesday, May 27-28, and then the series immediately will shift to St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday, May 29-30.
Other National League visitors to Kauffman Stadium will be the Atlanta Braves on June 25-26, the Miami Marlins on Aug. 12-13-14, and the Washington Nationals on Aug. 23-24-25. The Braves are coming to KC for the first time. The Nationals were still the Montreal Expos on a previous visit to KC in 2004.
Always of high interest to Royals' fans: The New York Yankees visit Kansas City for three games on May 10-11-12 and the Boston Red Sox come in for a four-game series on Aug. 8-9-10-11.
In addition to Philadelphia and St. Louis, the Royals will play Interleague road games on April 16-17 at Atlanta and on Aug. 2-3-4 at New York against the Mets, the Royals' first visit to Citi Field. They played the Mets at Shea Stadium in 2002.
This year the Royals' 18 Interleague games were contested in May and June. Next year, the 20 games against the NL -- 10 at home, 10 away -- will be played in April, May, June and August.
As for the new AL member, the Royals will visit Houston for three games on May 20-21-22 and the Astros will come to Kauffman Stadium on the weekend of June 7-8-9.
The season opens on the road at Chicago and ends at the same place, at U.S. Cellular Field with a four-game series ending Sept. 29.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.