Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Drew Smyly walks the field before the MLB Field of Dreams Game against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- No home runs reached the cornfield at this year's MLB Field of Dreams Game. Instead, it was a brilliant pitching effort from Drew Smyly that led to a 4-2 win by the Chicago Cubs over the Cincinnati Reds in Dyersville, Iowa.
A little more than 7,800 fans attended the second edition of the game Thursday at Field of Dreams Stadium, located adjacent to the movie set from the 1989 film Field of Dreams.
"Honestly, I caught myself in between every inning, when I wasn't pitching, just staring out into the cornfields, just looking over the left-field wall," Smyly told MLB.com.
Festivities started with MLB legend Ken Griffey Jr. and his father, former Reds star Ken Griffey Sr., emerging from the outfield cornfield for a game of catch. The modern scene was an homage to the film, which tells a baseball-drive story about the once-lost-then-found relationship between a son and his late father.
Players from both teams then walked onto the field, wearing retro jerseys from the early 20th century. The Cubs, sporting cream-colored threads, jumped out to an early lead and never looked back,
Reds starter Nick Lodolo retired the first two Cubs hitters, but then hit third baseman Patrick Wisdom with a pitch. Right fielder Seiya Suzuki doubled two pitches later, which brought in Wisdom from first base for a 1-0 lead.
Shortstop Nico Hoerner followed with a single to left for a 2-0 lead. Cubs left fielder Ian Happ plated Hoerner with a double to center in the next at-bat.
The Cubs carried the 3-0 lead into the fourth. Designated hitter Nelson Velazquez started that inning with a single to center. Right fielder P.J. Higgins then singled to right. Second baseman Nick Madrigal singled to center two at-bats later for a 4-0 Cubs lead, which stood until the seventh.
Cubs relief pitcher Michael Rucker allowed the lone two Reds runs on an RBI double from second baseman Mark Reynolds in the bottom of that inning.
Neither team scored another run over the final two innings. Cubs closer Rowan Wick came in to start the bottom of the ninth. He retired the Reds in order to earn his seventh save of the season.
Smyly allowed four hits and totaled nine strikeouts over five shutout innings to earn his fifth win of 2022. Lodolo allowed seven hits, four runs and issued four walks over 4.2 innings to drop to 3-4.
Madrigal went 3 for 4 with an RBI for the Cubs. Happ went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Suzuki also reached base three times. He went 1 for 3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored for the Cubs.
Reynolds went 2 for 3 with two RBIs for the Reds.
The Reds (44-67) will host the Cubs (46-65) in the second game of the series at 6:40 p.m. EDT Saturday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Organizers announced earlier this week that MLB will not hold a game next year at Field of Dreams Stadium due to construction on the site. Those plans include the building of a hotel and youth baseball and softball fields.
Players from the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs walk out from the corn stalks in right field before the MLB Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa, on August 11. The Cubs defeated the Reds 4-2. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo