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Kevin Smith has 3 hits as A’s tie Rangers

Oakland rallies late for a 7-7 tie.

MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at San Diego Padres Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics battled back late to preserve a 7-7 tie Thursday night against the Texas Rangers.

JP Sears got the start for Oakland and found himself in immediate trouble due to some shaky defense behind him. Marcus Semien began the game by reaching on a throwing error by third baseman Kevin Smith. Nathaniel Lowe brought him home two batters later to make it 1-0. The Rangers added another run in the first on a single by Robbie Grossman that scored Corey Seager.

Mitch Garver greeted Sears with a solo shot to left to begin the second to extend Texas’ lead to 3-0. Oakland finally cracked the scoreboard in the fifth as Nick Allen walked, stole second and then moved to third on a single by Conner Capel. He would come in to score on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Noda to make it 3-1. Brent Rooker and Kyle McCann both walked to load the bases and Smith tied the game with a single to center.

Sears would leave the game with two outs in the fifth inning. He settled in a bit after Garver’s home run. He allowed six hits and three runs, although only one was earned. He walked two and struck out three.

Texas retook the lead in the sixth as Ezequiel Duran took Zack Jackson deep for a two-run home run to make it 5-3.

Domingo Acevado tossed a scoreless seventh and Oakland’s offense got back to work in the eighth. Smith got things started with a double. He moved to third on a bunt single by Tyler Wade and then scored on a single by Cristian Pache to make it 5-4. Wade would score on a fielding error by Duran to tie the game back up at 5-5.

Drew Steckenrider entered in the eighth and surrendered back-to-back home runs to Brad Miller and Duran to put the Rangers back in front 7-5.

The A’s would answer right back in the ninth though as Noda and Rookier worked walks to start the inning. Both moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Smith then made it 7-6 with a single to center for his third hit of the game.

Wade then grounded to Duran at third who committed another error allowing Rooker to score to tie the game. Garrett Acton pitched around a walk in the ninth to end the game.

Smith and Wade combined for five of Oakland’s eight hits in the game. Pache drove in another run, but struck out three times. Sears’ start was again a bit of a mixed bag, but he was able to work into the fifth.

Oakland will have day/night split squad action on Friday. Kyle Muller is scheduled to start the early game against the White Sox while Mason Miller is listed as the starter for the second game against the Mariners.