DENVER -- The Rockies open the 2011 season at Coors Field on April 1 against the D-backs, according to the scheduled just released by Major League Baseball. The season -- which includes the Rockies' first trip to the new Yankee Stadium -- opens on a Friday, rather than on a Monday or Tuesday as in the past. The new schedule allows for an earlier finish to the postseason. It will be the first time the Rockies have opened at home since their National League championship campaign of 2007. They also opened that season against the D-backs. The three-game series with the D-backs also starts a five-game homestand, with the Dodgers arriving on April 5 for the first of two games.
The road schedule begins with eight games -- four-game series with the Pirates April 7-10 and the Mets April 11-14. Here are other features of the 2011 slate: Interleague opponents that will play at Coors Field are the Tigers (June 17-19), the White Sox (June 28-30) and the Royals (July 1-3). Interleague road games are against the Indians (June 20-22) and the Yankees (June 24-26). The Rockies will have a 10-game homestand from June 9-19 against the Dodgers for four games, the Padres for three and the Tigers for three. The first half finishes on the road with a four-game series against the Braves starting on the Fourth of July and a three-game set with the Nationals from July 8-10. A key nine-game NL West road trip is set for early in the second half, with games against the D-backs from July 22-24, the Dodgers from July 25-27 and the Padres from July 29-31. September calls for a heavy concentration of home games -- 13 of 15 contests between Sept. 5 and Sept. 21. However, the season ends with a seven-game trip, in Houston from Sept. 22-25 and in San Francisco from Sept. 26-28.