By The Associated Press
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — An attendance record. A hitting streak. And such as it was, even a winning streak.
By any measure, Tim Tebow had a solid week.
Tebow’s promotion to the high-A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League seems to be agreeing with him. The Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback had hits in 11 of his 13 games since being promoted to St. Lucie, including each of his last eight games — exactly one hit in each. Before now, his previous long hitting streak was five games.
The Mets even won back-to-back games for the first time since he joined the club. St. Lucie was 2-8 in Tebow’s first 10 games, before winning on Friday and Saturday. The Mets lost in Jupiter on Sunday.
A look how Tebow has fared this week and this season:
HIGHLIGHTS: Tebow was clutch at the plate this week, with a two-out, three-run double against Fort Myers on Monday, a home run (part of a back-to-back) to help the Mets beat Charlotte on Wednesday, and he had an RBI double and eventually scored in the Mets’ three-run fourth inning that carried them to a 3-2 win over Jupiter on Saturday.
AT THE PLATE: Tebow batted 7 for 26 (.269) this week with a home run, seven RBIs, three runs scored, three walks and three strikeouts.
ON THE SEASON: Counting his time in Columbia, Tebow is 60 for 254 (.236) with five home runs, 32 RBIs, 30 walks and 75 strikeouts.
IN THE FIELD: Tebow had an error that helped lead to a run in St. Lucie’s 7-6 loss to Charlotte on Tuesday, when Jake Cronenworth doubled and took third after the miscue. Cronenworth would later score. For the season, Tebow is up to eight errors (the first seven of those in Columbia).
ATTENDANCE: Granted, the numbers were helped by July Fourth fireworks. But Fort Myers set a franchise record by drawing 9,478 fans on July 3 (up from 8,222 for the same night in 2016), and St. Lucie’s home crowd of 6,974 one night later was the second-largest in team history. For the week, about 27,000 fans showed up — in large part to see Tebow play.
SHARING SPOTLIGHT: Tebow wasn’t the biggest name in the St. Lucie clubhouse this week. The Mets had All-Star Michael Conforto there for a one-game rehab stint on Wednesday; Conforto went 3 for 4 before rejoining the big club in St. Louis.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: Ashley Knight was one of the fans who saw Tebow play this weekend in Jupiter. She tweeted that she wasn’t totally satisfied with her visit, noting that “Tebow did not ask me on a date, nor did he give me an autograph (only children & Gator fans).”
QUOTABLE: Jupiter manager Kevin Randel says he can see improvement in Tebow’s game, just from when he saw him in spring training to now. “I don’t think anything he does is a surprise,” Randel told The Palm Beach Post. “He’s a superior athlete. He was off the game for so long, so it’s not a surprise that it’s coming along.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Tebow and the Mets finish their four-game series at Jupiter on Monday night. A league-wide off day follows on Tuesday — the day of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Miami. The Mets begin a three-game set at home against Daytona on Wednesday and then return to Fort Myers to open a three-game series on Saturday.
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