Pirates blank Cubs, even season-opening series

Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez each drove in a run as the Pittsburgh Pirates evened their best of three series with a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday at PNC Park.

Starling Marte plated the final run for the Pirates, who saw starter Wandy Rodriguez (1-0) pitch 6 2/3 scoreless innings and allow just two hits while striking out six batters and walking one in the victory.

Rodriguez, who was acquired from Houston last July, finished last season with a 12-13 mark and 3.76 earned run average.

Alfonso Soriano and Alberto Gonzalez supplied the only hits for the Cubs, who saw starter Edwin Jackson (0-1) toss five innings of two-run ball while striking out five batters and giving up three hits in defeat.

"I ran my pitch count up a little bit," Jackson said.

The Cubs are Jackson's eighth team during his MLB career. The righty went 10-11 with a 4.03 earned run average for Washington last year.

Garrett Jones singled to start the fourth inning and McCutchen put the Pirates on the board first with a double down the left field line to make it 1-0.

Pedro Alvarez moved McCutchen to third base on a groundout to first and Sanchez brought him home on a fielding error by Starlin Castro which made it 2-0 in favor of the home team.

Chicago threatened in the top of the seventh as Welington Castillo was hit by a pitch -- Rodriguez's second hit batter of the inning -- but Brent Lillibridge struck out. After a pitching change, reliever Tony Watson struck out Gonzalez to end the inning.

"I knew (Gonzalez) was looking for something to drive, but I executed my pitch and got out of it," Watson said.

The Pirates made it a 3-0 contest in the bottom of the frame as Clint Barmes led off with a ground-rule double and advanced to third on Watson's sacrifice bunt. Barmes eased home on a single from Marte.

Jason Grilli picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning to secure the win.

Game Notes

Jackson is now 4-1 in seven career starts versus the Pirates ... The Cubs were looking to begin the season 2-0 for the first time since 1995 after they took game one of the series, 3-1, on Monday ... The temperature at game time was 35 degrees.