DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers' moving truck was backed up to the clubhouse door.
The Tigers only wish they could pack some Comerica Park momentum with them.
Detroit rallied from a four-run deficit in the sixth and scored twice more in the final inning, and improving their home record to 40-20.
But at 24-36, the AL Central leaders have the worst road record among major league teams with a winning record.
"It will have to change, or we won't win anything," manager Jim Leyland said before the game.
Leyland's mood, though, improved several hours later after the comeback win as the team got ready to travel to Oakland and Los Angeles.
"This was a sweet win," he said. "It's going to make that long, long trip all the much easier for us."
"I tried to block out that the guy in the box was a friend two weeks ago," Washburn said.
David Aardsma (3-5) took the loss after walking pinch-hitter Carlos Guillen to begin the ninth, allowing Miguel Cabrera's double, Brandon Inge's barely deep enough sacrifice fly and Thomas' single to right on a full count.
Thomas was engulfed by teammates, including Cabrera, who rounded home plate to spark the party at first base. The celebration was almost as jubilant as the one Thomas set off with a ninth-inning homer Aug. 3 at home against Baltimore.
"It was just as good," Thomas said.
Washburn, meanwhile, has not been as good as he was for the Mariners.
He is 0-1 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts since the Tigers acquired him just before the non-waiver trading deadline, hoping he would bolster their rotation.
"It hasn't gone the way I wanted so far," Washburn said.
"Two were wind-blown and would've been outs any other day," Washburn said. "Unfortunately, those still count."
Detroit overcame Washburn's latest effort with enough offense, padding their lead in the division to 2½ games over the Chicago White Sox.
Mariners reliever Chris Jakubauskas entered the game in the sixth with the bases loaded after a 58-minute rain delay and pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff hit an RBI groundout and pinch-hitter Alex Avila had a two-run single to pull the Tigers within a run.
Aardsma was an out away from earning his 29th save in 32 chances.
He blew it, for starters, by walking Guillen to start the ninth.
"The first-batter walk, that's always been my enemy," Aardsma said.
Cabrera's second double came with one out, advancing the slow-footed Guillen to third. Magglio Ordonez was intentionally walked, and Inge hit a fly ball to center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, whose strong throw home was just a shade late as Guillen ran over Johjima for the tying run.
"I thought we battled for three days, and we put ourselves in a position to win all three games in the eighth inning or later," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "I'm proud of that, but obviously, you have to be able to close those games out."
Washburn watched the Mariners take a lead in the first in a scenario he saw often in his three-plus seasons with them.
Ichiro Suzuki hit a leadoff double, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Lopez's two-run homer in the third and Johjima's solo shot in the fourth put Seattle ahead 4-0.
Sweeney and Branyan hit consecutive home runs in the sixth to give the Mariners a 6-2 lead.
"If you told me we'd hit four homers today and lose, I would have thought you were crazy," Wakamatsu said. "That's a tough loss."
- Leyland benched CF Curtis Granderson on Thursday and planned to keep him out of the lineup for Friday's series opener at Oakland.
- Inge caught two balls in foul territory on the third base side in almost the same spot, one of which led to a heels-over-head tumble into the front row.
- The only other time Seattle hit four home runs in a game this season was at Detroit on July 21.