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Gray strikes out two in spring debut vs. Rangers

Four Oakland relievers combine for seven strikeouts over four innings

PHOENIX -- Following a 29-minute rain delay, the Rangers and A's finished in a 2-2 tie after play was suspended after nine innings at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in their first meeting of the season Saturday.

A's right-hander Sonny Gray made his spring debut and walked two and allowed two hits, stranding each of his baserunners while getting out of his two-inning performance unscathed. Gray also struck out two on the day.

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Lefty Martin Perez started for the Rangers, surrendering a leadoff base hit to youngster Billy Burns, who advanced to second on Nick Punto's ensuing walk before stealing third and landing at home courtesy a sacrifice fly from Yoenis Cespedes.

Following Gray's departure, the Rangers were blanked over the next four innings by Evan Scribner, Drew Pomeranz, Luke Gregerson and Fernando Abad, who combined for seven strikeouts.

Texas came back in the seventh, though, with two runs off righty Fernando Nieve by way of RBI doubles from Jurickson Profar and Jared Hoying.

Lefty Michael Kirkman gave the Rangers two shutout innings, and Engel Beltre recorded two hits.

Oakland managed just five hits total, with Burns recording two of them.

Up next: The A's will make the short trek over to Tempe Diablo Stadium on Sunday for their first meeting of the spring with the Angels. Right-hander Jesse Chavez gets the nod for Oakland, with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PT. Chavez will be joined on the field by numerous regulars, including Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Josh Donaldson, Cespedes and John Jaso. For Jaso, it's his first start at catcher since Wednesday's opener, when he was hit by a pitch just above his right elbow.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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