CINCINNATI — Phillip Ervin homered leading off the 11th inning and the Reds salvaged a 4-3 victory over the Phillies even though they couldn't reward Sonny Gray for another splendid start Thursday afternoon.
The Reds built a 3-1 lead on sixth-inning homers by Jose Iglesias and Eugenio Suarez and six strong innings by Gray.
The reliable right-hander, who was 5-0 in August with a 0.74 ERA in six starts, gave up one run on four hits and fanned seven.
But the Phillies scored single runs off Reds relievers Kevin Gausman and Robert Stephenson in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game until Ervin connected off Nick Vincent (3-1) for his sixth homer of the year and second walk-off of his career.
Ervin's opposite-field drive to right barely eluded Bryce Harper’s attempt at a leaping catch.
“There is nothing like it,” said Ervin, who clapped his hands running around the bases. “It’s a great feeling. I thought I hit it good enough. I saw Harper go back on it. The wind just pushed it out. I was just trying to get on base, but everyone wanted to get out of here.”
Matt Bowman (2-0) pitched the 11th for the win.
The Reds earned their second straight win and a four-game split while the Phillies dropped 3½ games behind the Cubs for the NL’s second wild card.
Gray gave up his only run after J.T. Realmuto lined a triple off the top of the left-field wall leading off the fourth and scored on Rhys Hoskins’ double.
Phillies starter Jason Vargas had a shutout until Iglesias hit a two-run homer in the sixth. Eugenio Suárez then greeted former teammate Jared Hughes with his 41st homer, an opposite-field drive to right-center that just cleared the fence. Philadelphia claimed Hughes on waivers from the Reds on Aug. 15.
Scott Kingery scored from second in the seventh when Adam Hasely singled to right and Aristides Aquino kicked the ball twice for an error.
Realmuto tied the score when he led off the eighth against Stephenson with his 21st homer.
Phillies: LF Corey Dickerson was 0 for 5, a day after leaving in the fifth inning because of a sore left foot.
Reds: OF Jesse Winker is expected to start swinging a bat in the next couple of days. Winker hasn’t played since Aug. 18 because of a cervical strain.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (8-11) is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season going into Friday’s game at New York
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (2-10), who starts Friday against Arizona, has left games this season with nine runners on base, and they all scored.