Griffin has 'dry-erase board' type of outing

Right-hander gives up 3 consecutive homers in first

Griffin has 'dry-erase board' type of outing

DETROIT -- The Rangers' 10-game winning streak started with an A.J. Griffin shutout against the Padres and ended with the right-hander experiencing one of the roughest starts of his career.

Griffin allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings, including three consecutive home runs in the first, and the longest winning streak in the Majors came to an end in the Rangers' 9-3 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Saturday night.

The Rangers also won six straight starts with Griffin on the mound before he tied a career-high for most runs allowed in a game. His ERA went from 3.15 to 5.02 in one cool night in Detroit.

"Location first inning, executing fastball cutter over the zone," manager Jeff Banister said. "Just couldn't find that rhythm. This is a group of hitters who like to drive the ball through the gaps and the other way. Some elevated pitches, and they capitalized."

Starting pitching had been the foundation of the Rangers' winning streak. Rangers starters were 5-0 with a 2.52 ERA during those 10 games and averaging 6.4 innings per start. The starters' 3.27 ERA for the season coming into the game was the lowest in the American League, but jumped up to 3.54 after Griffin's outing.

Griffin started the game by striking out Ian Kinsler, and then the barrage began. Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez each jumped on some variation of a Griffin fastball over the heart of the plate, and drove it somewhere into the right-field bleachers for a home run.

"Usually I go up by design, but I wasn't executing my put-away pitch," Griffin said. "They did a good job of staying inside the ball, and driving it to the opposite field. Too much plate a little bit."

It's the seventh time a Rangers pitcher has given up three consecutive home runs. The last time it happened was also in the first inning when Colby Lewis gave up home runs to Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis of the Orioles on May 10, 2012.

Nicholas Castellanos added a three-run home run in the third, and Griffin departed after allowing a two-run double to Avila in the fourth. The four home runs are also a career-high for Griffin.

"That's a dry-erase board, wipe it clean, and get ready for the next one," Griffin said. "It's disappointing, and embarrassing not to execute pitches the way you want to."

The Rangers were fortunate they did not have to over-tax their bullpen. Long reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx took care of that by throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings, and the Rangers did not have to use another reliever.

Bibens-Dirkx snags liner for DP

"He definitely picked up the slack, and did a real good job," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "You can't ask for anything more than that."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.