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Jay Bruce steals show on Tim Tebow day, hits first homer of spring

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper laughs with New York

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper laughs with New York Mets' Jay Bruce, left, before a spring training baseball game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: AP / David J. Phillip

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It was Tim Tebow’s day, but another lefthanded-hitting Mets outfielder tried to steal the show on Wednesday.

Jay Bruce went 2-for-3 with a double and his first home run of spring training in the Mets’ 8-7 victory over the Red Sox at First Data Field. Bruce, whom the Mets have penciled in as their starting rightfielder after they were unable to trade him in the offseason, is batting .417.

“I feel comfortable,” Bruce said. “Plenty of work left to do. It’s early in spring, but progressing well. I try not to worry about the actual results of spring training games, but that my work is kind of in line with where I feel like it needs to be this time of year. It’s going well so far.”

Bruce, who struggled mightily after joining the Mets from the Reds at the trade deadline, still managed to hit a combined 33 home runs with 99 RBIs.

“That was some kind of game he played today,” said hitting coach Kevin Long. “That was the biggest take-away from today’s game — how he played.”

Extra bases

Noah Syndergaard threw 2 1⁄3 innings of shutout ball in his second start . . . Yoenis Cespedes (quad) returned to the lineup and went 1-for-3 . . . In a split-squad game in West Palm Beach, Robert Gsellman gave up two runs in two innings as the Mets lost to the Astros, 12-2. Asdrubal Cabrera hit his first home run . . . Matt Harvey threw a bullpen session and is on schedule to make his second start on Friday against the Astros. Harvey was slowed by neck stiffness in his first outing . . . Zack Wheeler will also start on Friday in a split-squad game against the Braves at Disney. It will be Wheeler’s first outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014.


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