The Tigers were cruising to their second consecutive win at Fenway Park, with starter Max Scherzer taking a no-hitter and a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning.
But with one swing, Ortiz changed everything.
His two-out shot sent right fielder Torii Hunter jack-knifing into the Boston bullpen in a futile attempt to catch the ball, making it 5-5.
Saltalamacchia’s single came after a series of Tigers misplays in the ninth. A wild throw, a wild pitch and a missed catch set up the game-ending hit.
The teams head to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday. Justin Verlander will face Boston’s John Lackey.
The comeback spoiled an outstanding start by Scherzer.
He had not allowed a hit until Shane Victorino singled with two outs in the sixth.
It was the third consecutive playoff game in which the Tigers starter had a no-hitter after five.
Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the finale of the AL Division Series against Oakland on Thursday.
In Game 1 of the ALCS, Anibal Sanchez left the game after six innings with a no-hitter intact. Three relievers stretched it into the ninth before Daniel Nava got Boston’s only hit with two outs to go.
Scherzer, the likely AL Cy Young winner, struck out 11 through six innings.