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Profar rises to the occasion for Rangers

Young second baseman, Hoying produce RBI doubles to pace offense

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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.

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: In search of a starting role, Robbie Ross takes the hill for his first outing of the spring, after having spent his entire Major League career as a reliever. In order to earn that job, however, Ross will have to rebound from some second-half struggles in 2013. Righty relievers Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz will follow, and Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre will likely return to the lineup after a day off Saturday.

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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