• Spring info: Rangers | Athletics
Surkamp, in A's camp as a non-roster invitee, was on the hook for two runs in the inning, allowing three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in two-plus innings in his second spring start.
Rangers lefty Derek Holland got through three innings, allowing two unearned runs and three hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
The A's Billy Burns led off the third inning with a base hit and scored when Mazara made a three-base fielding error that allowed Coco Crisp to reach third. Crisp came home on Jed Lowrie's ensuing single.
The Rangers responded with three runs in the fourth against A's reliever Liam Hendriks, who issued a leadoff walk and three consecutive singles, including Elvis Andrus' run-scoring hit, to set up back-to-back sacrifice flies for DeShields and Pedro Ciriaco.
"We've needed a different approach to situational hitting, and what you've seen is guys trying to keep the ball off the pull side of the field, which allows you an opportunity to keep the ball in the big part of the ballpark," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Guys have done a really good job to this point."
Jeremy Guthrie, signed to a Minor League deal and competing for the Rangers' fifth-starter role, pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits and striking out one.
A's lefty prospect Dillon Overton pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits and striking out five.
Nicholas replaced catcher Michael McKenry in the top of the eighth and hit a two-run homer off Chad Smith.
Texas added a pair of runs off Smith in the top of the ninth when James Jones hit a sacrifice fly to score Ryan Rua and Drew Robinson singled to plate Ryan Cordell.
A's up next: Oakland ace Sonny Gray is set to make his Cactus League debut Wednesday in a road start against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., with first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. PT.
Rangers up next: Chi Chi Gonzalez will continue to battle for the fifth spot in the Rangers' rotation with a start in Wednesday's road game against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark at 2:05 p.m. CT. Gonzalez, who pitched two scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut last week, is scheduled to be followed on the mound by left-hander Cesar Ramos, righty Jose Leclerc, lefty Sam Freeman and righty Steve Johnson.