Darin Ruf hit his 35th home run of the season Sunday night in the Reading Phillies 9-1 loss to Erie at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Ruf's long ball puts him within two home runs of Ryan Howard's Eastern League single season record of 37.
Ruf also had a double and a walk in the loss.
Erie took a 6-0 lead before the R-Phils even got to bat, and coasted to the win from there.
Brody Colvin (1-3, 9.51) settled won after the six-run first inning, but still took the loss on the mound.
New Britain also lost on Sunday, leaving Reading's wildcard lead at 3.5 games with eight left to play.
The R-Phils (71-62) will open a four-game series with Binghamton in Baseballtown on Monday at 7:05pm.