Curve win; Tebow trip in question

READING — If Tim Tebow comes to town and plays next week against the Curve, it could provide a big boost in ticket sales and, thereby, some big financial gains for the franchise.

But there’s now a question about Tebow’s status for the short term and for Binghamton’s visit to Altoona a week from today.

While the Curve were taking care of Reading, 8-2, Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium, news broke that Tebow might have suffered some sort of hand or wrist injury.

The Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback was pulled after the seventh inning of Binghamton’s home game against Trenton on Thursday. Manager Luis Rojas told WBNG-TV that Tebow had some hand or wrist discomfort following a swing and will undergo an MRI today.

Tyler Feldman from WBNG-TV tweeted a pregame photo of Tebow signing autographs that showed the outfielder’s right wrist was taped, which would indicate that he already had been dealing with some sort of issue in that area.

Tebow has been a big draw everywhere he’s played on the road during his two years in minor league baseball. He is expected to be a big draw if he plays in Altoona next week during a four-game series, and the Curve have been promoting his appearance for a couple of weeks.

Depending on many factors, Tebow could be worth an extra 1,000 to 2,000 tickets sold per game at Peoples Natural Gas Field. A Curve official recently estimated to the Mirror that when taking everything into account — ticket cost, parking, concessions, etc. — each ticket sold to a game generates about $14 for the ballclub.

If Tebow’s appearance sells an average of 1,500 more tickets per game, for a total of 6,000 over the four days, that theoretically would be worth about $84,000 to the Curve.

If he doesn’t play or doesn’t even come to Altoona, that could cost the Curve substantially.

Tebow has had a solid season for Binghamton, batting .273 with six homers, 36 RBIs and a .734 OPS. He also was selected to the Eastern League All-Star Game and hit a double in that contest.

The Curve opened up a week-long road trip by smacking Reading behind a big offensive night from the entire team. Stephen Alemais went 4-for-5, Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled twice and Altoona scored four runs in the sixth inning to break up a 2-2 tie.

Hayes’ second double of the night drove in Alemais to put the Curve on top to stay, then Will Craig smacked a two-run single. Craig now has 72 RBIs, putting him 34 shy of Adam Hyzdu’s franchise record of 106 with 37 games to play.

The second through fifth batters in the order each had two hits — Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, Craig and Logan Hill — and the Curve finished with 14 hits.

Cam Vieaux (6-1) continued his impressive run since coming up from high-A Bradenton as he won for the sixth time in seven decisions. Vieaux allowed two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and overcoming four walks.

The bullpen had a great night as Logan Sendelbach tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings before Geoff Hartlieb threw a scoreless ninth.

Reading starter Harold Arauz (7-5) took the loss, giving up six runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

SUBHD: Game recap

Key player: 2B Stephen Alemais went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run for the Curve.

Key play: Altoona scored four runs in the fifth inning for a 6-2 lead, highlighted by 1B Will Craig’s two-run single.

Key stat: The Curve finished with 14 hits, and five different players collected at least two.

SUBHD: How they scored

Top 2nd: Hill singled, scored on Kelley single (1-0).

Top 3rd: Hayes doubled, scored on Reynolds single (2-0).

Bottom 4th: Listi solo homer (2-1); Randolph solo homer (2-2).

Top 5th: Alemais singled, scored on Hayes double (3-2); Tucker singled, scored along with Hayes on Craig single (5-2); Reynolds intentionally walked, scored on Hill double (6-2).

Top 7th: Reynolds singled, Craig singled, both scored on Alemais single (8-2).

Next stop

Tonight: Altoona at Reading, DH at 5:35 p.m.

Pitchers: Curve RHP Austin Coley (1-0, 2.00) and RHP Scooter Hightower (0-0, 3.52) vs. Fightin Phils RHP Connor Seabold (0-2, 6.63) and TBD

Record: 50-43

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