DYERSVILLE, Iowa – Standing between rows of Iowa corn stalks, Nico Hoerner had Johnny Bench to his left and Billy Williams to his side.
“Pretty amazing,” 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 the second game of Major League Baseball’s “Field of Dreams.”
Nick Madrigal had three hits and two steals for Chicago in a throwback stadium just steps from home field for the 1989 movie. Smyly (5-6) pitched five scoreless innings and Ian Happ had two hits, including a RBI double that led to to Hoerner during a quick start for the Cubs.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” Chicago manager David Ross said. “A very cool event.”
The evening began with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and his father emerging from the iconic corn stalks for his own version of a memorable scene from the film, which delighted the crowd of 7,823.
“Hey dad, you wanna have a catch,” Junior said.
“I’d like to,” 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 the look of the franchises in the early 20th century.
Williams and Bench were among a group of Hall of Famers from each franchise who also joined in the festivities. Bench stood behind the plate for a ceremonial first pitch by Fergie Jenkins.
“What they’ve done here is unbelievable. … I think every baseball player should experience this,” Reds third baseman Kyle Farmer said.
Backed by Chicago’s first run, Smyly improved to 3-1 with a 2.49 ERA over his last four starts. The left-hander allowed four hits and walked two as he celebrated his daughter, Parker’s, fifth birthday.
Rowan Wick worked the ninth for his seventh save.
“A game like this … you feel like a kid again,” Smyly said. “You’re out there playing baseball in the middle of Iowa.”
Cincinnati dropped its fourth straight game. Matt Reynolds hit a two-run double in the seventh, but the last-place Reds fell in order over the final two innings.
Major League Baseball has returned to Dyersville, population about 4,400, after its first “Field of Dreams” game was a resounding success. The Chicago White Sox topped the New York Yankees 9-8 on an electric home run by Tim Anderson last year in the MLB opener in Iowa.
But the sequel lacked the drama of the original version. Chicago and Cincinnati dropped out of contention long ago, and the Cubs took control early against Nick Lodolo (3-4).
Seiya Suzuki and Happ each had an RBI double in the first, and Hoerner had a single. The rally began after Lodolo retired the first two batters.
“I didn’t make throws when I needed to when I was ahead in the count,” Lodolo said.
Madrigal hit a 4-0 RBI single in the fourth.
The 1989 film starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan. Liotta, who played the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, died in May at the age of 67.
Costner narrated a video tribute to Liotta that aired in the first.
“Long live Shoeless Joe and long live Ray,” Costner said.
John Smoltz was a Hall of Fame right-hander on the FOX Sports broadcast after his father, John Adam Smoltz, died Thursday.
“He lived by his faith, he loved his family, and he would be so crazy if he didn’t make this game,” Smoltz, 55, said during the broadcast.
Cubs: Willson Contreras appeared to roll his left ankle when he tried to run back to second after rounding the bag on Patrick Wisdom’s single at third. He was tagged out, but was back behind the plate for the bottom half of the inning.
Reds: 2B Jonathan India (leg contusion) was replaced by Reynolds before the start of the fourth. India was hit on his left leg by a pitch in the first. Director David Bell said India is day by day.
After a day off, the three-game series resumes Saturday in Cincinnati. Graham Ashcraft (5-2, 3.94 ERA) pitches for the Reds and fellow righty Adrian Sampson (0-3, 3.83 ERA) starts for the Cubs.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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Smyly stars as Cubs beat Reds in second “Field of Dreams” game.
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