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Schedule announced: Detroit Tigers to raise flag against Red Sox in 2012

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Detroit will open the 2012 season at home against Boston.
Detroit will open the 2012 season at home against Boston.

Major League Baseball released the 2012 schedules today, and it appears Detroit's will start with a couple of AL East contenders right off the bat. Detroit will host the Red Sox on Opening Day, set for Thursday, April 4. With a magic number of four as I type this, I think it's pretty safe to say some sort of pennant will be raised during that series. (The headline has already scared some people into panic, I'm sure.) The bigger the better, of course. Detroit will complete the six-game home stand by inviting the Tampa Bay Rays to town for a trio as well.

The good news is, the first half of the schedule looks a bit harder than the second half. Of course, that's because the first half features a lot of games against out-of-division opponents, while the second half is peppered with Central teams. No offense to the Central, but, well, it's obviously not the East. However, July 24-Aug. 1 will be a tough stretch. Detroit hits the road to Cleveland, Toronto and Boston for 3-game sets against each.

Although Interleague play will feature NL Central teams, the schedule disappoints U.P. fans hoping for a Milwaukee series. The Tigers will be a little further south when they visit Wrigley Field for the first time since 2006. Detroit will face the Pirates not once, but twice this year. (Still trying to find us an interleague rival, MLB?). According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, that's the first interleague foe Detroit will meet twice in a season since Arizona in 2005. The Rockies and Cardinals will also be coming to town. Detroit will travel to Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark for the first time.

September has a long span of games on the road and at home. Detroit heads to Los Angeles, on Sept. 7, then to Chicago for a four-game set, then to Cleveland for three. After an off day, the Tigers host nine games in 10 days in late before traveling to Minnesota and Kansas City to close the regular season. The last home game is Sept. 27 against the Royals.The last game is Oct. 3 at the Royals.

2012 will mark the 112th season the Tigers have played in the American League. The All-Star Game is set for July 10 in Kansas City.

To view the schedule yourself, start here and page forward.