DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — After the Griffeys played catch in Iowa, Drew Smyly took over.
Smyly struck out nine in five scoreless innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Thursday night in Major League Baseball’s second annual “Field of Dreams” game.
Seiya Suzuki reached three times and Nick Madrigal had three hits for Chicago in a throwback ballpark a short walk away from the main field for the beloved 1989 movie. Ian Happ had two hits and drove in a run.
“It’s really magic,” Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said of the field. “It has some kind of energy that I think is real.”
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.
“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 (5-6) earned his second straight win. The veteran left-hander allowed four hits and walked two.
Rowan Wick worked the ninth for his seventh save.
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.
But the sequel lacked the drama of the original version. Chicago and Cincinnati dropped out of contention a long time ago, and the Cubs grabbed control right at the start against Nick Lodolo (3-4).
Suzuki and Happ each hit an RBI double in the first, and Nico Hoerner had a run-scoring single. The rally started after Lodolo retired the first two batters.
Madrigal tacked on an RBI single for a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
Cubs: Contreras appeared to roll his left ankle when he tried to scurry back to second after rounding the bag on Patrick Wisdom’s single in the third. He was tagged out, but he 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 lower left leg by a pitch in the first.
Following an off day, the three-game series resumes on Saturday in Cincinnati. Graham Ashcraft (5-2, 3.94 ERA) pitches for the Reds, and fellow right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-3, 3.83 ERA) starts for the Cubs.