BOSTON — Didi Gregorius was not going to allow the Boston Red Sox to have back-to-back walk-off wins on consecutive nights.
Gregorius ripped a go-ahead RBI single to highlight a three-run 16th inning for the New York Yankees in a 4-1 victory over the rival Boston Red Sox in a five-hour, 50-minute game on Saturday at Fenway Park.
“It’s a good feeling,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of watching Gregorius’ timely hit. “Our guys were really good at tacking on.”
New York (46-42) bounced back after star closer Aroldis Chapman issued a walk-off walk to Andrew Benintendi in Friday’s 5-4 series-opening loss after entering the ninth with a 4-3 lead.
On Saturday, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled off Red Sox reliever Doug Fister (0-3) to open the Yankees’ 16th. Chase Headley’s bloop single to center field put runners on first and third to set up Gregorius’ single to center.
Austin Romine followed with another RBI single and Gary Sanchez added a sacrifice fly after a Ronald Torreyes sacrifice bunt and Fister’s intentional walk to Brett Gardner.
Matt Holliday clubbed a game-tying solo homer in the ninth, his 16th of the season, off closer Craig Kimbrel for New York, which had lost 19 of its last 26 games coming in and pulled within 3 1/2 games of American League East-leading Boston (51-40).
“It’s a huge win for this team with the way some of the things had gone,” Girardi said.
Yankees starter Luis Severino permitted one run, four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings. Ben Heller (1-0) struck out three and pitched the final two innings for the victory.
Boston starter Chris Sale, the American League starter in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, matched a season high with 13 strikeouts in 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Sale became the first Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2003 with multiple 10-plus strikeout games against the Yankees in a season.
“He’s been outstanding,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “On a day where I thought he pitched under control, he had real good power early on but then he pitched comfortably throughout the rest of the ballgame.”
The left-hander allowed three hits and two walks before being relieved by Kimbrel, who proceeded to blow his second save since July 3 and his first at Fenway. Kimbrel had converted a Fenway-record 30 consecutive saves.
Mitch Moreland drove in the lone run for Boston, which suffered only its second loss in nine extra-inning games this season.
Holliday took Kimbrel deep to lead off the inning, sending a 1-1 pitch approximately 443 feet over the Green Monster in left.
“Just trying to stay on the fastball and put a good swing on the fastball and caught it luckily,” Holliday said.
Said Kimbrel: “He put a good swing on it, hit it a long ways. That’s usually what happens when I give them (home runs) up.”
Dellin Betances tossed a scoreless ninth to push the game to extras.
A strange sequence highlighted the Yankees’ 11th as Ellsbury sent a grounder to first with Holliday on first.
Moreland fielded the ball on a bounce and fired to second for the first out, but Holliday turned around and slid back into first just as Ellsbury reached.
Moreland didn’t see shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ throw to first as Holliday blocked his view as the ball struck Ellsbury as he hit the bag, leading to an umpires review for a rules check.
The original call that Ellsbury was safe was upheld after a nearly five-minute review. Farrell told the umpires that the Red Sox would play the rest of the game under protest.
“I just assumed that (Moreland) touched the base,” Holliday said. “He didn’t, so that’s kind of what happened.”
Red Sox reliever Blaine Boyer was removed from the game in the 13th inning with right elbow tightness.
Bogaerts’ infield single with one out in the third loaded the bases for Moreland, who drove a ball to center for a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: New York and Boston entered the game having split their last 82 meetings (41-41) since 2013, going 20-20 at Fenway Park and 21-21 at Yankee Stadium. … Yankees 2B Starlin Castro was activated from the 10-day disabled list and returned to the starting lineup. Castro had not played since June 27, missing 13 games with a strained right hamstring. INF/OF Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Red Sox RHP Joe Kelly was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. RHP Brandon Workman was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. … Trade talks between the Red Sox and White Sox surrounding Chicago 3B Todd Frazier “intensified,” ESPN Deportes reported. Boston designated 3B Pablo Sandoval for assignment Friday. … Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (7-3, 3.81 ERA) opposes Red Sox RHP Rick Porcello (4-11, 4.75) in Game 1 and Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-8, 5.47) counters Red Sox LHP David Price (4-2, 3.91) in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader.