Red Sox likely to open at Texas in 2011

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox will open the 2011 season in Texas against the Rangers on April 1, according to a draft of the major league schedule currently being reviewed by all 30 teams, the union and the commissioner's office. An MLB source shared details of the proposed Sox schedule with ESPNBoston.com.

Revisions could be made before the schedule is finalized, but as of now the plan is for the Sox to open with three games against the Rangers, travel to Cleveland for three games against the Indians (April 5-7), then return to Boston for the home opener April 8 against the New York Yankees.

That would be the start of a 10-game homestand against three division rivals: the Yankees (3), Rays (3) and Blue Jays (4). Toronto would be the opponent on the April 18 Patriots Day game.

The Yankees will also be in Boston for three games Aug. 5-7 and make their final visit to Boston Aug. 30-Sept. 1. The Sox have three visits to New York scheduled: May 13-15, June 7-9 and Sept. 23-25.

After that last trip to Yankee Stadium, the Sox would end the regular season with three games against the Orioles in Baltimore (Sept. 26-28). A September finale to the regular season means the postseason will not extend into November.

The Sox are scheduled to play teams from all three National League divisions in interleague play. The Chicago Cubs are scheduled to visit May 20-22, Milwaukee is in June 17-19, followed by San Diego June 20-22.

The Sox would go on the road to play interleague games against Pittsburgh (June 24-26), Philadelphia (June 28-30) and Houston (July 1-3).

One significant departure in the MLB schedule is that the season will begin at the end of the week (most teams will play on Friday, with presumably one game being played on Thursday night). MLB has traditionally opened its season on a Monday, with ESPN televising one game the Sunday night before.

Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.