"That's what he does. He's an amazing hitter," said Scherzer, who took a no-hitter and a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning but could only watch as the Detroit relievers blew it. "He's an amazing postseason hitter. He's clutch. Any given moment, a swing of the bat he can always take you deep."
Koji Uehara retired the Tigers in order in the top of ninth, then Rick Porcello came on for the bottom half. He gave up a leadoff infield single that left Gomes at second when shortstop Jose Iglesias threw the ball into the Boston dugout.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a foul popup but stayed at-bat when it glanced off first baseman Prince Fielder's glove when he got tangled up with a fan. Gomes moved to third on a wild pitch, and then Saltalamacchia hit one through the drawn-in infield to drive in the game-winner.
"It's playoff baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Looked like we had one in hand and we let one get away, there's no question about that. But there have been two great games."
Boston's comeback came a few hours after Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to complete the New England Patriots' comeback over the New Orleans Saints. The score was greeted with cheers by Red Sox fans waiting for the baseball game to start.
Game 3 of the ALCS is in Detroit on Tuesday, when Justin Verlander faces Boston's John Lackey.
Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered off Clay Buchholz as Detroit scored four in the sixth inning to open a 5-0 lead. The Red Sox got one in the bottom half but were four outs from falling behind 0-2 in the series when Ortiz tied it.
"The guy's an actor at work," said Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, who had Boston's first hit off Scherzer on a single with two outs in the sixth. "It's fun to watch. It's great to see. He's always upbeat and always positive. He always likes to go up and swing the bat. That's what he always wants to do."