DETROIT -- Rick Porcello had gone his first 14 2/3 innings of the 2012 season having only allowed three runs. In one-plus inning of work on Saturday against the Rangers, that number tripled.
The defending American League champions cruised to a 10-4 win over the Tigers, tagging Porcello for nine runs -- eight earned -- on 10 hits before manager Jim Leyland pulled him with nobody out in the second.
It is the first time a Tigers pitcher has given up nine runs in a start while recording no more than three outs since Nate Cornejo did so against the Mariners on July 20, 2003.
"I was the most disappointed one in the ballpark today," Porcello said. "I know I can go out there and beat those guys and pitch well against them. I just wasn't able to do it today."
Part of that, he said, is because the Rangers are red-hot. Texas entered the first game of Saturday's day-night doubleheader having scored 34 runs in its previous three games.
Any questions as to whether the Rangers would keep that momentum rolling were answered in the first inning, when they batted through the order and scored eight runs. The first seven batters reached base safely and four crossed the plate before Porcello recorded his first out.
The 23-year-old said after the game that he didn't believe he was particularly wild, and for the most part, he pounded the strike zone and had good command.
"For a lot of those guys, I hit my spots," he said. "They just hit it hard. ... It's just one of those things [where] I wasn't able to come up with an answer."
Porcello had an 0-2 count on three of the first four hitters but couldn't put them away.
Ian Kinsler was in the hole before hitting a leadoff infield single that deflected off Porcello's hand. Elvis Andrus fought back from 0-2 and walked, then Josh Hamilton made Porcello pay by blasting a four-seam fastball into the right-field bleachers for a three-run homer.
It was another case in which Porcello believed he made his pitch.
"That was just a great piece of hitting," he said. "Really, I can throw that pitch 100 times, and I couldn't put it in a better spot."
Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Daniel Murphy would all reach before Mike Napoli -- who homered for his fifth straight game in the eighth inning -- struck out.
Four more Rangers batted before Porcello finally ended the brutal inning, inducing Hamilton to ground out to second base.
In the second inning, Porcello allowed three straight hits and a run before being replaced by left-handed reliever Duane Below.
"When he made mistakes, we hit the ball hard," said Murphy, the Rangers' left fielder, basically echoing Porcello's theory. "When he threw good pitches, we found holes."
Below threw six scoreless innings of relief, the longest outing by a Tigers reliever since Steve Sparks threw 7 2/3 innings on June 1, 2003.
"He went five or six innings for us and saved our bullpen," said catcher Gerald Laird of Below's effort. "If anything, we can look at that as a bright note."
The Tigers tried to fight back against Rangers' starter Matt Harrison. In the fourth, Austin Jackson broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with a solo homer. Delmon Young hit an RBI double later in the inning to make it 9-2.
In the eighth, right after Harrison was removed, Miguel Cabrera hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot, to make it 9-4, but the eight-run first inning proved too big of a hole.
"We just couldn't stop the bleeding in that first inning, and it just got out of hand," Leyland said. "It was pretty much a disaster."
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.