DETROIT (AP) — Clete Thomas' two-out, RBI single capped a two-run rally in the ninth inning and lifted the Detroit Tigers over the Seattle Mariners 7-6 Thursday.
The AL Central-leading Tigers trailed 6-2 before scoring three times in the sixth and two more in the final inning, setting off a celebration around Thomas at first base.
Bobby Seay (4-2) earned the win for pitching a scoreless inning, getting Jarrod Washburn off the hook after a poor performance against his former team.
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.
Washburn is 0-1 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts since the Tigers acquired him just before the non-trading deadline, hoping he would bolster their rotation.
Russell Branyan, Kenji Johjima, Jose Lopez and Mike Sweeney each had a homer against their former teammate, who gave up four homers in a game for the first time in five years.
Detroit overcame Washburn's latest effort with enough offense, improving to 40-20 at home and padding its lead to 2½ games over the Chicago White Sox.
Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith allowed solo homers to Inge and Ryan Raburn in the fourth inning, and gave up five runs over 5 1-3 innings.
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.
Shawn Kelley followed and pitched two scoreless innings of relief and 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.
Cabrera hit his second double of the game 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 slid in with the tying run.
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.
NOTES: Tigers manager Jim Leyland benched CF Curtis Granderson on Thursday and planned to keep him out of the lineup for Friday's series opener at Oakland. ... 3B Bill Hall joined Seattle for Thursday's game and LHP Garrett Olson was sent to Triple-A a day after he was acquired from Milwaukee for minor league RHP Ruben Flores. ... 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. ... Washburn gave up four homers in a game for the fourth time and the first since July 20, 2004, when he was pitching for the Angels. ... Detroit LHP Dontrelle Willis, who is on the DL with an anxiety disorder, lasted just 1 1-3 innings of a rehab start before leaving the mound with hip trouble Wednesday night for Triple-A Toledo.
(This version CORRECTS Tigers 7, Mariners 6. SUBS 6th graf to correct to Johjima hitting homer, sted Branyan with 2 HRs.)
Thomas' RBI single caps 2-run rally in 9th, Tigers beat Mariners 7-6
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