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WASHINGTON – Steven Okert is an experienced rider of the bullpen cart at Nationals Park from his three seasons with the division rival Miami Marlins.

When he rode the bullpen cart before taking the mound in the fifth inning Wednesday, he hopped out, reached into his glove and pulled out a $5 bill to hand to the driver.

"I was carrying [money] the whole series waiting to get in," said Okert, who estimated he's sat in the bullpen cart about eight times in his career.

The bullpen cart, which was introduced in 2018, circles the warning track during every pitching change. Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle was a frequent rider, but these days almost all relievers bypass the cart and run toward the mound like they do at every other ballpark. Okert heard he was the first player to accept a ride this season.

"I've tried to get everyone here to take it, but nobody wanted to do it," Okert said.

Okert had one road series against the Nationals in 2022 when he rode the bullpen cart for all his appearances in three straight games. What prompted him to begin using the bullpen cart?

"We were here early in the season, and it was freezing," Okert said. "I was walking in and like I'm not taking it. There's no way. Then he pulled up to the gate, and I was like, shoot, I'm taking it. So I took it for the first time, and I threw good, so I just continued to do it."

After all those rides, however, Wednesday was the first time Okert tipped the driver.

"You've got to tip," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We like to do things right here, treat people good."

Julien stuck in slump

A new mustache wasn't enough to help Edouard Julien break out of his slump Wednesday.

Julien is hitless in his last 18 at-bats with seven strikeouts. It's one of the biggest slumps of his pro career and he's trying to remain relaxed.

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"You always feel like you've got to work and do all that stuff to get out of it, but sometimes it's just get a rest and being in a better mental spot than you are," Julien said. "I think that's a problem for me. I think a little too much and that's the game. It's not always physical, it's always mental. For me it is. I've got to be better with my approach."

Why the mustache?

"I went to a barbershop [Tuesday] and he did something with my chin that I didn't really like, so I had to shave it off," Julien said. "I just have the 'stache now. I had to keep something. We'll see if that's going to help."

Larnach back in outfield

Trevor Larnach stood in left field Wednesday, which represented positive news for how his right foot is feeling. It was the first time he's played the outfield since May 9 and just the second time since April 23.

He started the season on the Class AAA injured list with turf toe in his right foot, and it resurfaced during his first week back in the big leagues. Playing Wednesday's game in the outfield wasn't a sign Larnach was pain-free in his right great toe, but the Twins thought it was a good time to test it with an off day Thursday.

"It seems like the more consecutively I use it, the more irritated it gets," he said. "When it gets irritated, it's harder for it to go away. It's like a [goes in] waves type of situation. Quite frankly, it's annoying."

"It's a running thing and a little bit throwing," Larnach said. "Anything pushing off and extending the foot, it's a little irritating and annoying."

Saints game suspended

Wednesday's Saints game at the Buffalo Bisons was suspended due to weather in the top of the third inning with the Saints up 3-0, runners on first and second and two outs. The game will resume Thursday as part of a doubleheader.