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09/14/11 8:00 AM ET

Mets to open 2012 slate by hosting Braves

NL East rivalries highlight schedule; two Subway Series on tap

NEW YORK -- Twelve consecutive games against National League East rivals to open the season, including nine against the playoff-bound Braves and Phillies, highlight the Mets' 2012 regular season schedule.

Released Wednesday, the schedule includes Interleague trips to Toronto and Tampa Bay, in addition to six Subway Series games against the Yankees and a home series against the Orioles. The Mets will also make their first trip to Florida's new retractable-roof ballpark from May 11-13, and will close out their season against the Marlins for the first time since 2008.

The Mets will be one of 10 teams to open their season on April 5 -- a Thursday -- hosting Atlanta for one game at Citi Field before an off-day on April 6. (The Cardinals and Marlins kick off the Major League season with a game on April 4.) The Mets will then play two more against the Braves over the weekend and host the Nationals for three, before a six-game road trip to Philadelphia and Atlanta.

On paper, at least, the schedule grows a bit friendlier until a 19-game stretch against the Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals, Yankees, Rays and Reds, beginning May 28. That first installment of the two-part Subway Series runs June 8-10 at Yankee Stadium, with the Mets hosting the Bombers from June 22-24. The Orioles, who also played the Mets in 2009 and '10, will precede the latter Subway Series with three games from June 18-20 at Citi Field.

Other highlights of the midsummer schedule include a six-game road trip to two of the league's oldest parks, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, from June 25 through July 1. The Mets will also make an 11-day, 11-game West Coast trip to Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego beginning July 26, and will bookend the All-Star Game in Kansas City with a home series against the Cubs (July 6-8) and a road trip to Atlanta (July 13-15).

September marks a return to divisional play for the Mets, with 18 of their final 25 games coming against the Braves, Nationals, Marlins and Phillies. In sum, the Mets will play host three times apiece to the Phillies (May 28-30, July 3-5, Sept. 17-19), Braves (April 5-8, Aug. 10-12, Sept. 7-9), Nationals (April 9-11, July 23-25, Sept. 10-12) and Marlins (April 24-26, Aug. 7-9, Sept. 21-23).

As usual, the Mets will also take three trips each to Philadelphia (April 13-15, May 7-9, Aug. 28-30), Atlanta (April 16-18, July 13-15, Sept. 28-30), Washington (June 5-7, July 17-19, Aug. 17-19) and Miami (May 5-13, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, Oct. 1-3). The Marlins are set to open their new retractable-roof stadium in downtown Miami next April, after 19 seasons at Sun Life Stadium.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.