Washington Nationals 2012 schedule: Home opener set for April 12

While the Washington Nationals wind down their 2011 season, the look ahead to next season can already begin.

Major League Baseball released its entire 2012 regular season schedule Wednesday, and for the Nats, it all gets started at Wrigley Field on April 5 for a match-up with the Chicago Cubs.

Washington will make their home debut a week later, when they host the Cincinnati Reds on April 12 at Nationals Park.

2012 will mark the first season since 2009 in which the Nationals begin their season on the road.

The two annual Beltway Battle series with the Baltimore Orioles will take place in mid-May and late June. The Nationals will host the Orioles May 18-20, then visit Camden Yards June 22-24.

Washington will also face every team from the American League East during interleague play, visiting Boston and Toronto while hosting the New York{ } Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.