Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Cubs lead off Reds' 2004 schedule

Marlins, McKeon visiting May 25-27

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Reds released their 2004 season schedule Monday, and while it features nine interleague games against American League West teams and three against interstate rival Cleveland, the first few weeks could provide some of the most interesting games.

Cincinnati will play 13 of its first 16 games against National League teams that either made the playoffs in 2003 or just missed out.

  • The 2004 schedule
The Reds open the season and a three-game series with the defending NL Central champion Cubs on April 5 at Great American Ball Park. The teams are off April 6, then play the final two games April 7-8.

Game times have not yet been announced and the schedule remains subject to change. Tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Following a three-game series against the Pirates from April 9-11, Cincinnati travels to Philadelphia (April 12-15) and Chicago (April 16-19) before returning home for a midweek, three-game series against the NL East champion Braves.

The three games against the Phillies, who finished 10 games over .500 last season, will be the first regular season games ever played at Citizens Bank Park. The Reds also will make their first visit to new PETCO Park in San Diego from May 11-13.

Interleague play begins June 8, when the Reds play the A's in Oakland for the first time since the 1990 World Series.

After that three-game series, Cincinnati makes its first ever trip to Safeco Field in Seattle for three games (June 11-13), before coming home to play Alex Rodriguez and the Rangers (June 15-17).

Other highlights:

• The Indians visit Great American Ball Park for a three-game series July 2-4.

• Former Reds manager Jack McKeon and his World Series champion Marlins visit Cincinnati from May 25-27. The Reds travel to Florida one week later for a three-game series.

• There are three away games scheduled against the Expos, who played a portion of their schedule in Puerto Rico last season.

• Though the Reds play 10 of their final 13 games on the road, the last three (against the Pirates from Oct. 1-3) are at Great American Ball Park.

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