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Mickey Callaway OK with sliding into first

Jeff McNeil tried it and failed, but Callaway trusts a player's instincts.

Jay Bruce  high-fives Mets manager Mickey Callaway

Jay Bruce  high-fives Mets manager Mickey Callaway as he returns to the dugout after scoring in the seventh inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.   Photo Credit: Getty Images/Adam Glanzman

BOSTON — A takeaway from the Mets’ 4-3 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday: Manager Mickey Callaway is OK with his players sliding into first.

“If they’re trying to beat the throw, go ahead and do it if you feel like you can get there quicker,” Callaway said.

The subject came up after Jeff McNeil went headfirst into first on a seventh-inning ground ball. The Mets had just tied the score and had runners at the corners with two outs when McNeil shot a ball to shortstop. Hustling down the line, he dived into first, a play that draws the ire of some managers — among other club decision-makers — because it doesn’t necessarily get the runner to the bag faster and risks injury to the runner’s hands.

“If he thinks he can beat a throw and win a game or whatever, be safe, he can do whatever he wants,” Callaway said. “I think they got to do whatever they can do to be safe in that moment. If they’re avoiding the tag or whatever, they got to do it.”

McNeil declined to discuss the play or his philosophy on it.

Road Rosario

Count Amed Rosario among those who feel the offense-draining effect of Citi Field (a source of mystery to the organization) in a severe way.

At home, he is hitting .210. On the road, after going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored Sunday, he’s hitting .303.

Rosario, who had two multihit games against the Red Sox, has been performing well at the plate no matter the game’s location lately, batting .329 with 15 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs in his past 34 games.

“I feel very good and I feel very confident,” Rosario said through an interpreter. “That’s the most important thing to say.”

Betts off early

Red Sox rightfielder Mookie Betts, a leading candidate for AL MVP, left in the sixth inning with what the team called a sore left side. His last play was a throw home on Wilmer Flores’ sacrifice fly — a sliding Austin Jackson barely beat the tag at home — but Betts didn’t come off the field until after a replay review upheld the call.

Betts, hitting .337 with a 1.049 OPS and 29 homers, was on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain for 10 days in June.

Extra bases

Like Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom enjoyed pitching at Fenway Park for the first time. “The past couple of nights, great atmosphere. Definitely enjoyed it,” deGrom said. “Wish the outcome would have been a little different, but it is what it is.” . . . DeGrom is up to 202 innings on the season, passing his previous career high of 201 1⁄3 set last year . . . A theme during the series against the Red Sox: anti-Yankees chants, which unified the fan bases.

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