In a game that began with a three-hour thunderstorm delay and ended with an incredible 17-9 rout of the Rockies, Reds left fielder Phillip Ervin collected six hits — not only reaching a personal career high, but accomplishing something no other Reds player had managed to pull off since the summer of 1949.
For his first hit of the night, Ervin hit back-to-back singles with Yasiel Puig to start the second inning, later coming around to score on José Peraza’s RBI base hit. He returned in the third with a two-out RBI triple, grabbing a slider from Kyle Freeland and depositing it in deep right-center field, where David Dahl‘s missed catch gave him some extra time to scoot around the bases.
Following a pitching change in the fifth, Ervin collected a double off of Chad Bettis, then added two more base hits in the sixth and seventh as the Reds climbed to an eight-run lead. With five hits under his belt, just one home run shy of hitting for the cycle, the outfielder stepped up to bat one last time in the ninth. He worked a 2-2 count against Bryan Shaw, then lashed a 91.2-m.p.h. cutter out to the left field corner for his sixth and final base hit of the night.
While the cycle may have eluded him in the end, Ervin’s feat is still a remarkable one. Just one other player has collected as many hits in a single game this season — the Brewers’ Ryan Braun did so in an 18-inning nail-biter against the Mets back in May — and, per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Ervin is the first to do so in a regulation nine-inning game. He’s also the first player to pull off a six-hit performance with fewer than 100 hits under his belt since the Dodgers’ Paul Lo Duca in 2001.
Through Saturday, Ervin is batting .357/.410/.571 with seven extra-base hits, nine RBI, and a .981 OPS through 61 plate appearances.