Astros drop veteran reliever Qualls from ALDS roster

FILE - At left, in an Aug. 8, 2015, file photo, Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif. At right, in a May 8, 2015, file photo, Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. McHugh and Ventura are scheduled to be the starters in Game 1 of their American League Division Series on Thursday, Oct. 8. (AP Photo/File)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Astros have left veteran reliever Chad Qualls, part of their last playoff team in 2005, off their roster for their AL Division Series against the Kansas City Royals.

Qualls was on the 25-man roster for the Astros’ wild-card game against the Yankees but did not pitch. The 36-year-old right-hander had a 4.38 ERA this season.

The only other noteworthy move made by manager A.J. Hinch was to include outfielder Preston Tucker, a left-handed bat who can handle the Royals’ trio of right-handed starters. He replaced the more versatile Jonathan Villar, who would have given Houston an added element of speed.

The series begins Thursday night in Kansas City.

Graphic compares AL Division Series matchup between the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals; 2c x 2 1/2 inches; 96.3 mm x 63 mm;

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