MESA—Carlos Silva had something to prove, and time was running out.Having a terrible spring training so far, it was essential he impressed his manager Wednesday. After giving up a leadoff hit and a one-out RBI double to Josh Willingham, Silva did just that. He turned it around, retiring 17 of 18 and leading the Cubs over the Oakland Athletics 3-1.The right-hander came in with a 15.88 ERA, but allowed one run and three hits in six innings. He also had three strikeouts in what should be his last appearance before manager Mike Quade finalizes his pitching staff.Silva had allowed 20 earned runs in his previous 11 1-3 innings.Silva, who is 62-69 in his career as a starter, was grateful for another chance knowing that he could have been taken out of the competition based on his previous results.Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez went 5 2-3 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out six. Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano had RBI singles in the first inning.
NOTES—Aramis Ramirez played for the first time since coming down with a 102 degree fever over the weekend and went 0 for 1 with a walk….The Cubs cut four players from camp as right-handed reliever Justin Berg and left-handed reliever Scott Maine were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Non-roster invitees right-handed reliever Angel Guzman and right-handed starter Todd Wellemeyer were sent to minor league camp. Starter Carlos Zambrano started against Arizona’s Triple-A team and threw 82 pitches in four innings.