Tebow handles the heat in start for Mets

In first game since Wednesday, outfielder singles off Cards' Wacha

Tim Tebow has hit safely in three straight Grapefruit League games to get his average up to .235. (John Bazemore/AP)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | March 18, 2017 2:32 PM ET

He's heating up.

Having logged a pair of hits in his last Grapefruit League game, Tim Tebow boosted his Spring Training average to .235 with a 1-for-3 performance on Saturday in the Mets' 5-4 win over the Cardinals.

"He's worked very hard," Mets manager Terry Collins told MLB.com. "We're here to help. That's what we're here for. We're here to help him try to get better."

Batting seventh, the 29-year-old outfielder fell behind St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha, 0-2, in the second inning. The left-handed hitter fouled off a changeup, then laced a 95 mph fastball through the left side for a clean single.

The next time the former NFL quarterback faced Wacha, in the fourth, Wacha struck him out on three pitches. Tebow grounded out against Arturo Reyes in the sixth and was replaced on defense by No. 19 Mets prospect Ricardo Cespedes in the bottom of that frame.

"I feel like I'm still adjusting, still learning," he told the media after Wednesday's two-hit game. "I'm still figuring out a lot of stuff every day, all of it's -- so much of it's still new. It's my process every day, figure out, 'OK, this is how I want this to go,' and 'this is my routine here,' 'this is how I'm gonna do this,' and for me, it's all still super new."

In left field on Saturday, he made a smooth catch on Jhonny Peralta's fly ball to the warning track in the first.

Neither on the roster nor a non-roster invitee, Tebow has shuffled to the big league side as a fill-in for six games. Twice, including after the polarizing figure was 0-for-7 through his first two games, Collins indicated that the Mets were done using the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner in Grapefruit League action. On Saturday, the Mets manager told MLB.com that he's "hoping" to get Tebow into a few more big league games before camp breaks.

"Being around these guys at this level, he can see what it is to be a big league player," Collins said. "He can hopefully carry that into wherever he's going to start the year."

That's likely to be Class A Columbia in the South Atlantic League or Class A Advanced St. Lucie in the Florida State League.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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