Padres release 2015 schedule

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SAN DIEGO — The Padres will open and close the 2015 Major League Baseball season with a pair of three-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, a schedule released Monday shows.

The regular season will begin Monday, April 6, in Los Angeles and finish Sunday, Oct. 4, at Dodger Stadium.

The home opener next season will be Thursday, April 9, as the San Francisco Giants come to Petco Park to begin a four-game set.

In between, the Padres will take on the normal National League and NL West opponents. Inter-league competition will feature teams from the American League West, with the Padres welcoming the Athletics, Mariners and Rangers to Petco Park. They will face the Angels in Anaheim in the last week of May.

The Padres will have to deal with what could be a brutal stretch in June and early July, in which they will be on the road for 25 of 35 contests leading up to the All-Star break, against the likes of Atlanta, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, among others. All those clubs are contending for playoff positions this season.

If the Friars survive and are in the playoff race late next season, the Padres will enjoy a pair of nine-game homestands in September — the second one leading up to the regular season-ending series in L.A.

This season, the Padres have a 66-76 record thanks to a five-game losing streak, and have fallen to 14 and 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West race.