BOSTON — Someone had to break through and the New York Yankees finally did in the 16th inning Saturday, scoring three runs to beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-1.

The Red Sox dropped to 51-40 and are 3½ games ahead of New York (46-42) in the American League East.

After Saturday’s marathon, the teams have a doubleheader Sunday.

Doug Fister (0-3) took the loss. He was supposed to be Tuesday’s starter but was needed after the Red Sox emptied their bullpen.

He got two outs in the 14th, pitched a scoreless 15th, then gave up four straight hits and a sacrifice fly in the 16th.

Ben Heller (1-0), New York’s last available reliever, got the win with two scoreless innings.

The game featured a pitching matchup between Chris Sale and Luis Severino. Severino gave up one run on four hits and two walks, striking out six. Sale was better: three hits, no runs, two walks and 13 strikeouts.

Sale was in line for a win until Matt Holliday homered off closer Craig Kimbrel to lead off the ninth inning, making it 1-1.

Boston scored in the third. With one out, Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia walked. Xander Bogaerts followed with a dribbler down the third-base line for a single, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland fell behind 1-2, then lined a fastball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly.

Sale lasted until two outs in the eighth, with one runner on and Aaron Judge coming up.

Kimbrel entered and got Judge to line to right after a 10-pitch at-bat.

In the ninth, Kimbrel fired in a 1-1 fastball and Holliday clocked it over the Green Monster in left-center. It was Holliday’s 16th home run of the season.

In the 16th, Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double, followed by singles from Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius (RBI) and Austin Romine (RBI). Gary Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly.

NOTES: In Manager John Farrell’s pregame press conference, he anointed Joe Kelly the team’s eighth-inning pitcher. But just over an hour later, the Red Sox placed Kelly on the disabled list dating to July 12 with a strained left hamstring. He will be replaced by Brandon Workman. … Reliever Carson Smith threw a 28-pitch bullpen session Friday in Fort Myers, Florida. It was his first on the mound since his latest rehab efforts were stopped because of shoulder pain. He’s scheduled to throw two more bullpen sessions before facing hitters.

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH