Slow ride: D-backs bullpen cart finally used in 18th game

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The Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen cart is driven on the warning track during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Phoenix. (Source: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) The Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen cart is driven on the warning track during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Phoenix. (Source: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
PHOENIX (AP) -

The Diamondbacks’ bullpen cart has finally made its maiden voyage.

Houston Astros reliever Collin McHugh became the first player to use Arizona’s shiny new bullpen buggie in a regular-season game when he entered to pitch Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks have had the cart ready for use since opening day, but no reliever opted to take it over Arizona’s first 17 home games.

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McHugh changed that by hitching a ride around the warning track to begin the sixth inning. He was dropped off just outside Houston’s dugout, then walked the rest of the way to the rubber. All that saved energy proved useful — McHugh pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings before handing off to Joe Smith, who journeyed to the mound on foot.

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“It was there, they provided it for us, so I decided to give it a shot,” McHugh said. “I am still new to this whole bullpen thing so I don’t think I have too much of a routine to deviate from.”

Arizona’s cart is the first known motorized vehicle used in the majors since 1995, when the Milwaukee Brewers shuttled pitchers in a motorcycle with a sidecar.

“I was kind of jealous,” Arizona reliever Archie Bradley said of McHugh going for a ride. “I’ve been wanting to use it, haven’t found the right time. But yeah, he’s the first guy to use it and maybe more guys will jump on. I’m going to keep jogging out.”

The Diamondbacks’ cart had previously been used to drop off pitchers during exhibition games at Chase Field before the season, and in the regular season to deliver a pitcher’s warmup jacket to the dugout for relievers to wear after their outings.

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