A's bats silent in Cactus League loss to Cubs

A's bats silent in Cactus League loss to Cubs

A's bats silent in Cactus League loss to Cubs
MESA, Ariz. -- Carlos Silva gave the Cubs something to think about.

Silva, battling for the fifth spot in the rotation, had his best outing this spring Wednesday in the Cubs' 3-1 victory over the Athletics.

The right-hander, making his fifth spring appearance, gave up three hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three over six innings. He threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes. The Cubs are expected to make a decision between Silva, Andrew Cashner and Braden Looper for the final rotation spot before Sunday.

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Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez, making his fifth spring start, served up two runs on four hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings. He was lifted in the sixth after turning a nifty 1-6-3 double play.

Coco Crisp singled to lead off for the Athletics and scored one out later on Josh Willingham's double.

Reed Johnson singled and Starlin Castro walked to open the Chicago first. Two outs later, Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano each hit RBI singles to put Chicago ahead, 2-1.

Up next for Athletics: Lefty Bobby Cramer will continue his bid for the fifth-starter spot on Thursday when he takes to the mound against the host D-backs at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., beginning at 1:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Tyson Ross, who is making his own case for a rotation spot, is scheduled to pitch as well. Also in the game, Hideki Matsui is slated to make his spring debut in the outfield, where he'll play for a couple of innings.

Up next for Cubs: The Cubs and White Sox will meet one more time this spring on Thursday at HoHoKam Park. Matt Garza will make his fifth spring start and sixth appearance for the Cubs. The right-hander struggled with the mound in his last outing in Peoria. This will be his third start at HoHoKam. The White Sox won the first meeting, 4-3, in Glendale. While the White Sox will use a designated hitter, Cubs manager Mike Quade plans on having Garza hit.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.