Smyly stars as Cubs beat Reds in 2nd ‘Field of Dreams’ game
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AP Baseball Writer
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Standing among rows of Iowa cornstalks, Nico Hoerner had Johnny Bench on his left and Billy Williams right next to him.
“Pretty incredible,” Hoerner said.
For sure. Even for a “Field of Dreams.”
Led by Drew Smyly and a 10-hit attack, the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Thursday night in Major League Baseball’s second “Field of Dreams” game.
Nick Madrigal had three hits for Chicago in a throwback ballpark a short walk away from the main field for the 1989 movie. Smyly (5-6) pitched five scoreless innings and Ian Happ had two hits, including an RBI double that drove in Hoerner during a fast start for the Cubs.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” Chicago manager David Ross said. “Really cool event.”
The night began with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and his father emerging from the iconic outfield cornstalks for their own version of a memorable scene from the film, delighting the sellout crowd of 7,823.
“Hey dad, do you wanna have a catch,” Junior said.
“I’d like that,” Senior said.
The Griffeys then played catch as more parents and children joined them on the field with their own balls and gloves, followed by the Cubs and Reds, dressed in special uniforms inspired by how the franchises looked in the early 20th century.
Williams and Bench were among a group of Hall of Famers from each franchise that also joined the festivities. Bench stood behind the plate for a ceremonial first pitch from Fergie Jenkins.
“What they’ve done here is incredible. … I think every baseball player should experience this,” Reds third baseman Kyle Farmer said.
Backed by Chicago’s three-run first, Smyly improved to 3-1 with a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts. The left-hander allowed four hits and walked two while celebrating the fifth birthday for his daughter, Parker.
Cincinnati dropped its fourth straight game. Matt Reynolds hit a two-run double in the seventh, but the last-place Reds went down in order in the final two innings.
Major League Baseball returned to Dyersville — population of about 4,400 — after its first “Field of Dreams” game was a smashing success. The Chicago White Sox topped the New York Yankees 9-8 on Tim Anderson’s electric homer last year in the first MLB game in Iowa.