PITTSBURGH -- Wandy Rodriguez was truly the ice man Wednesday night.
On an evening when the game temperature was 35 degrees and the wind was blowing out to center field at 17 mph, the Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander cooled the Chicago Cubs' bats as he combined with two relievers on a two-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory at PNC Park.
"It was cold but once you start pitching and your body warms up you don't really feel it," Rodriguez said. "I don't like to wear sleeves. I like my arm to feel free when I'm pitching. I'd rather be a little bit cold than feel like my arm isn't free."
Rodriguez (1-0) allowed both two hits, singles by Alberto Gonzalez in the third and Alfonso Soriano in the seventh. Rodriguez also struck out six and walked one in his first start of the season.
"I felt like I had really good control of all my pitches," said Rodriguez, who lowered his career ERA in April to 2.86 in 34 starts. "I felt like I could throw all my pitches for strikes until the (seventh) inning when I kind of lost the feel for my fastball."
Rodriguez kept the Cubs from starting 2-0 for the first time since 1995.
"It was a tough night to hit but give Wandy credit," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said. "He didn't give us many pitches to hit, regardless of the weather."
Tony Watson retired all four batters he faced and Jason Grilli pitched a perfect ninth inning to convert his first save opportunity of the season as he takes over at closer for All-Star Joel Hanrahan, who was traded to Boston in the offseason.
"My pulse rate was a little quicker and my heart was beating a little faster but it's a sensation I could get used to," the 36-year-old Grilli said. "I've waited a long time for it,"
Rodriguez was in control until the late innings, not allowing the Cubs to get a runner to third base until the seventh.
Down 2-0, the Cubs loaded the bases with one out. Rodriguez hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch, gave up a single to Soriano then hit Welington Castillo.
Rodriguez struck out Brent Lillibridge with a 3-2 backdoor slider then yielded to left-hander Watson, who escaped the jam by getting Gonzalez to hit an inning-ending fly out to center field.
"I knew he was looking for a pitch to drive and I tried to jam him and keep him from extending his arms," Watson said. "It was a good feeling to come into that situation and get out of it without allowing any runs."
The Pirates (1-1) then added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Clint Barmes hit a double down the left-field line that bounced into the stands and then scored on Starling Marte's one-out single.
The Pirates opened the scoring with a two-run fourth inning off Edwin Jackson, who was making his Cubs' debut after signing a four-year, $52-million contract as a free agent in the offseason.
Garrett Jones led off with a single and scored on Andrew McCutchen's line-drive double into the left-field corner. McCutchen took third on Pedro Alvarez's ground out and scored when shortstop Starlin Castro misplayed Gaby Sanchez's grounder for an error.
Jackson pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out five.
"Edwin didn't have real good command of his fastball but he had a really good slider," Sveum said. "I thought he pretty well, all in all. I was pleased with his outing."
NOTES: Lillibridge played third base, Dave Sappelt was the starting center field and Scott Hairston was in right with Chicago facing the left-handed Rodriguez. The Cubs plan to limit the exposure of center fielder David DeJesus, the center fielder, and right fielder Nate Schierholtz against lefties. ... The Cubs signed a pair of left-handed hitting veterans, infielder Donnie Murphy and outfielder Ryan Sweeney, to play at Class AAA Iowa. ... Chicago right-hander Matt Garza, who is on the disabled list with a strained left lat muscle, threw off a mound Wednesday at the Cubs' spring training base in Mesa, Ariz., for the first time since being injured in February. He is expected to be out until sometime in May. ... Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke, who is scheduled to make his season debut Sunday when he faces the Dodgers at Los Angeles, pitched six innings in an intrasquad game at the Pirates' extended spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday and threw 91 pitches. ... The Pirates are hopeful right-hander Jeff Karstens (right shoulder inflammation) can start playing catch by the weekend. ... Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano (broken right upper arm) threw 20 pitches of batting practice on Tuesday and right-hander Charlie Morton (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) threw 35 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday at Pirate City. Both are expected to come off the disabled list sometime in May. ... Pittsburgh right-hander Jose Contreras (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) is scheduled to pitch in his first extended spring training game on April 15.