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Waiting game: Astros-Yankees delayed to Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi walked into his office Monday and looked at his notes on the Houston Astros.

"There were still things on my board from last October when we faced them," he said.

New season but same opponent and same opposing pitcher as the Yankees' final game of 2015. Only New York and Houston will have to wait an extra day.

It was 40 degrees and drizzling when Monday's opener was called, 4½ hours before the scheduled first pitch for the afternoon start. New York's first postponed opener since 2008 was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon, when the forecast is for sunshine and 40-degree temperatures at game time.

American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel is to start for Houston against Masahiro Tanaka of New York in a rematch of last year's AL wild-card game, won by the Astros 3-0.

"It's something you dream of since you were a little kid," said Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who made his big league debut in June and went on to be voted AL Rookie of the Year.

Keuchel was 3-0 against the Yankees last year, including the playoff game, and the left-hander pitched 22 scoreless innings against New York.

Girardi planned to start newcomer Aaron Hicks, a right-handed batter, in left field instead of lefty swinging Brett Gardner. In October, Girardi benched Jacoby Ellsbury in the playoff game and started Gardner, who went 0-for-4.

"If it's the second day of the season, it's not a big deal, but because it's Opening Day and what Gardy's meant to this organization, it is a big deal and I feel for him," Girardi said. "But this is the reason that we traded for Hicks. On days we face lefties, Ells or Gardy, one of them will get a day off, and it keeps them fresh and strong."

Hicks hit .307 against lefties last season and is 2-for-5 in his career against Keuchel.

Gardner did not seem to mind missing the Opening Day start.

"It is what it is. It's all about the team," he said.