SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers open the 2011 regular season at home against the Giants with a four-game series starting on Friday, April 1, according to the tentative schedule released on Tuesday by Major League Baseball.
The Dodgers season starts earlier than usual -- and on a Friday -- to allow the postseason to begin earlier and assure its conclusion before November.
In Interleague play, the Dodgers face the White Sox in Chicago May 20, 21 and 22; host the Tigers June 20, 21 and 22; and visit the Twins in Minnesota for their first appearance at Target Field June 28, 29 and 30. The Dodgers also will play their American League neighbors, the Angels, at Dodger Stadium June 24, 25 and 26, then in Anaheim July 1, 2 and 3.
Among the early highlights of the schedule will be April 15, which marks the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day at home against the Cardinals. The Dodgers, being the only team for which Robinson played, traditionally request and receive a home game on the date marking his Major League debut.
The Dodgers also will play at home on Father's Day, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day.
The longest homestand for the Dodgers will be 12 games, June 13-26, against the Reds, Astros, Tigers and Angels. There will be three trips of 10 games each: June 3-12 (Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Colorado), Aug. 15-24 (Milwaukee, Colorado, St. Louis) and Sept. 2-11 (Atlanta, Washington, San Francisco).
The Dodgers will play three series with the Houston Astros. They play two series against each of the other teams in the NL Central and East divisions.
The regular season ends with a six-game trip, three each in San Diego and Arizona, with the final game being played on Sept. 28.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.