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First contest against Pujols' new team among highlights of 2013 Cardinals schedule

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols enters the dugout after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium on April 21, 2011. Last night, Pujols hit a go ahead single to edge the Phillies 5-4.

A home opener against the Cincinnati Reds, a record number of interleague games, and the first showdown with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since they lured away Albert Pujols are among the highlights of the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals schedule, released today by Major League Baseball.

The season opens April 1 with a game against Arizona. The home opener is a week later.

The Cardinals will see a lot of their Central Division foes next year. Under Major League Baseball's new scheduling system, the team will face the Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates 19 times each.

If you think there's a team missing from that line-up, there is. The Houston Astros will move next season to the American League West. But the Cardinals will still face them - for two games in Houston June 25-26, and two games at Busch July 9-10.

The highlight of interleague play this year should be a three-game series with the Angels July 2-4 . In addition to being the club's first regular season road trip to Anaheim, it's also the first time the teams will face off since Pujols left via free agency. The Cards will also play the Texas Rangers (at Busch), the Oakland Athletics (in Oakland), the Kansas City Royals (both home and away), and the Seattle Mariners (at Busch).

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