Before the wind chill dipped into the mid-20s Wednesday night at PNC Park, Cubs manager Dale Sveum was asked what he tells his players about hitting in cold weather.

"Punt," he replied.

The Cubs took Sveum's advice, going three-and-out for much of the night in a 3-0 loss to the Pirates, spoiling Edwin Jackson's solid club debut.

On a night fit for hockey, a predominantly right-handed-hitting lineup failed to solve left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who handcuffed the Cubs over 62/3 innings, allowing two hits.

"The objective is to win, but I like our chances to come out (Thursday) and take the series," Jackson said.

The Cubs managed only two hits on the night, wasting a bases-loaded situation in the seventh that could have changed the complexion of the game. No one could blame the Cubs for not hitting in frigid conditions. But they're 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and have only five hits since knocking out three in the first inning of Monday's opener.

"It's not about the cold sometimes," Sveum said. "It's about how much your eyes water, especially if there's any kind of breeze. When you're in the batters' box, you kind of really don't know it's that cold."

In any case, there was no arguing the Cubs bats were ice cold. Rodriguez allowed one hit through six innings and led 2-0 before loading the bases with one out on two hit batters and a single in the seventh.

But he caught Brent Lillibridge looking at a 3-2 pitch after a would-be home run sailed foul, and reliever Tony Watson induced Alberto Gonzalez to fly to center on a 3-2 pitch after falling behind 3-0.

"Two great at-bats," Sveum said.