Mets' Tim Tebow hits two singles, Grapefruit League average to .214

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

JUPITER, Fla. -- Tim Tebow singled twice and made a diving catch at the right-field warning track Wednesday, his best day as a professional baseball player.

"I think I've had fun every game, genuinely, but I think this one, there was a lot of action," Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner, said after the New York Mets' 6-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. "When there's a lot of action that's also fun. You like being involved."

Tebow, 29, reached first base in the second inning against starter Justin Nicolino, hittinga grounder into the hole that shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria knocked down but couldn't come up with. Tebow lined a single to left-center off Stephen Fife leading off the fifth, then slid into the wall in the bottom half to catch J.T. Realmuto's drive to right that was slicing away from him.

"The wind was blowing extremely hard to the corner, so you knew it was going to carry a little bit farther," Tebow said.

Tebow also grounded out in the seventh, leaving him with a .214 average (3-for-14) in four games.

"He's getting better," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "That was the point. That's why he's here, to see if he can make some strides, and he's made very good strides."

New York banned Tebow from speaking with the media following his second game but allowed him to speak for a little less than four minutes Wednesday.

"I think I'm still figuring out a lot of stuff every day," Tebow said. "So much of it is still new, so it's still a process."

Following the game Tebow spent a few minutes with team trainers, who cleaned abrasions on his right elbow caused by his slide on the pebbly warning track.

"I can't tell from the angle, but that looked like a pretty tough play out there," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Tebow moved to left field in the sixth, then left after his chopper in the seventh -- he almost beat pitcher Dillon Peters, who covered first base.

With minor league spring training games about to start, Collins said Tebow's appearance might have been his last this spring training with the major league club.

"It's an awesome opportunity," Tebow said. "I'm trying to make the most of it as far as a learning opportunity -- learn from as many of the guys, as many of the coaches, as possible and try to absorb as much knowledge as possible."