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09/15/2009 4:06 PM ET
Nationals announce 2010 schedule
Improved weekend opponents and April 3 Red Sox exhibition headline '10 slate
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
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The Washington Nationals today released their 2010 schedule, which begins with an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, April 3 and includes 81 home dates beginning with Washington's 77th home opener since 1901 on Monday, April 5 vs. NL East-rival Philadelphia.

Beyond Opening Day, the Nationals' 81-game home slate features three visits apiece from all National League East rivals, including five weekend sets against the New York Mets (four-game series, July 1-4), Philadelphia Phillies (July 30-August 1), Atlanta Braves (September 24-26) and Florida Marlins (May 7-9 and September 10-12).

Other attractive clubs making weekend plans in DC next season are the Milwaukee Brewers (April 16-18), Los Angeles Dodgers (April 23-25), San Francisco Giants (July 9-11) and the St. Louis Cardinals (August 27-29).

Washington baseball fans can also look forward to a three-game visit from the Chicago Cubs, August 23-25, as well as holiday contests against the Mets on both the Fourth of July (1:35 p.m.) and Labor Day (September 6, 1:05 p.m.).

Thanks to interleague play, the Nationals will face their neighborhood rival, the Baltimore Orioles, six times, with each club hosting three games. The 2009 version of the Battle of the Beltways series begins at Nationals Park the weekend of May 21-23 and concludes at Oriole Park, June 25-27.

Beyond the annual home-and-home series with the Orioles, a three-game visit from the Chicago White Sox, June 18-20, headlines the interleague slate at Nationals Park. The Kansas City Royals will also visit the Nation's Capital for the first time, June 21-23. The interleague tilts against White Sox and Royals allow the Nationals to officially complete the Major League Baseball circuit of having played each of the other 29 clubs at least once.

Washington will also make interleague treks to Cleveland (June 11-13) and Detroit (June 15-17).

Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox's April 3rd exhibition-game visit is a return engagement. Earlier this season, June 23-25, the three-game Red Sox-Nationals series resulted in three sellouts, as over 125,000 fans witnessed Boston's initial pilgrimage to Nationals Park.

Washington fans will enjoy 12 homestands in all, three of which last a season-long 10 games: April 16-25, July 1-11 and September 20-29.

The Nationals and their fans will notice a concentration of home dates both early and late in the season. Washington opens the 2010 campaign with 13 of its first 18 games to be played at home. Then, starting with an August 23 contest against the Cubs at Nationals Park, 23 of Washington's next 38 contests will be played in The District.

Washington's 2010 regular-season concludes on Sunday, October 3 at New York (NL).

All dates and opponents on this schedule are subject to change.

The Nationals return home for their final homestand of 2009 on Tuesday, September 22. Individual game tickets and parking are currently on sale for all Nationals games in 2009 through the Nationals Park Box Office, located at Half & N Street, SE; by visiting; or calling 888.632.NATS(6287). Fans interested in Nationals Ticket Packages and Group Outings of 25 or more for the remainder of the 2009 season, or in placing a deposit on Season Ticket Plans for 2010, should call 202.675.NATS(6287) - Option #1 or log onto Nationals Park is located on the Metrorail Green Line at the Navy Yard station.
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