MESA, Ariz. -- Carlos Silva got good news on Tuesday from his mother, and the Cubs got an even better report on the right-hander. Silva had his strongest outing this spring, giving up two hits over four scoreless innings in the Cubs' 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers in front of 13,157, the fourth-largest crowd in HoHoKam Park's history. Silva always sends a message to his mother before and after he pitches, but earlier Tuesday, he got a long-awaited phone call from Venezuela. His mother, Zulay, was granted a 10-year visa. Now, she'll be able to come to Chicago to watch her son pitch.
"That was a big headache the last couple years," Silva said. "She had been getting denied, denied, denied. I think that's why I was fired up today." Another reason could be that all the lessons with Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild appear to be paying off. "That's as well as I've seen him throw all spring," manager Lou Piniella said. "He got ahead in the count, you saw him elevate pitches, you saw him pitch inside, he had a good changeup. That's a nice performance today. He kept his velocity up for the full four innings. He should be really pleased -- I know we were." "It's good to see the results," Silva said. Among other changes, the Cubs want Silva to throw more across his body and finish toward third base. After the last side session, Rothschild told Silva to take what they had been working on into a game and have fun. "Today, before the game, he said, 'Don't worry about anything, just fire the ball up in there,'" Silva said. "That's exactly what I did today, and we had good results."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.