Ervin’s walk-off HR a crusher

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Scott Lauber

CINCIN­NATI — Bryce Harper walked slowly across the out­field and into the Phillies’ dugout.

Try as he might, he couldn’t save an­other game for the Phillies.

Harper made a leap­ing at­tempt at the right-field wall, but Phillip Ervin’s drive sailed over his out­stretched glove and into the seats in the 11th in­ning to give the Cincin­nati Reds a 4-3 vic­tory over the Phillies on Thurs­day at Great Amer­i­can Ball Park.

Ervin’s blast ended a 3-hour, 36-minute marathon and doomed the Phillies to an un­sat­is­fy­ing split of a four-game se­ries with one of the worst teams in the Na­tional League af­ter tak­ing the first two games ear­lier in the week.

With the loss, the Phillies slipped three games be­hind the Chicago Cubs in the chase for the NL’s se­cond wild-card berth. The Cubs played Thurs­day night and can ex­tend the mar­gin to four games with 23 re­main­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously, it’s a su­per dis­ap­point­ing loss,” Phillies man­ager Gabe Kapler said. “Our path to suc­cess is go­ing to be through our of­fense and hav­ing big in­nings, and we weren’t able to do that in these games.”

Said catcher J.T. Real­muto: “It’s def­i­nitely frus­trat­ing. We won the first two games ... we’re thinking maybe we can sweep the se­ries. Everybody in the dugout felt the mo­men­tum. We put our­selves in po­si­tion to win, but the of­fense didn’t get it done.”

“We’ve still got plenty of time, but we have to turn it around quickly.”

The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this story.

JOHN MINCHILLO/AP

Phillies re­liever Jared Hughes re­acts af­ter a pitch against Cincin­nati on Thurs­day.

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