Dotel entered the game with a 2-0 lead in the ninth, but found the backstop more than the strike zone, quickly issuing free passes to Brendan Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki. Both moved up a base on a wild pitch to Jesus Montero, and Ryan scored from third when Dotel again threw the ball to the backstop.
After fouling off a pitch to run the count full, Montero squared up on a fastball and scorched a line drive mere feet from clearing the center-field fence to score Ichiro and tie the game.
"I walked two guys," Dotel said. "I don't want to walk the third guy. I just want to come through, try to hit my spot and he hit a good pitch. Fortunately, he hit it a long way in the park. I thought it was going to be out."
"I thought when Montero hit that ball, that was it right there. I think he's in the weight room right now working on some stuff," John Jaso said with a laugh. "I thought that was it. Those other two balls he hit out of center field earlier in the season, it looked just like that. It was a loud crack of the bat."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland brought in Duane Below to face Kyle Seager, who bunted pinch-runner Munenori Kawasaki to third. Jaso then delivered the game-winner, a sacrifice fly to right field, just deep enough to score Kawasaki ahead of the tag at the plate.
"It was great, man. That was a good feeling," Jaso said. "Having that energy there at the end of the game. I've always been the one doing the beating up, never got the treatment myself."
The comeback came after starter Blake Beavan was forced to exit with a right elbow contusion after being hit by a line drive in the third inning.
With runners on the corners and one out in the third, Miguel Cabrera hit a line drive back up the middle, ricocheting off Beavan. Third baseman Kyle Seager picked up the ball and threw to second to initiate an inning-ending double play, but Beavan's night was done.
"I really didn't feel it until I got down underneath," Beavan said. "[The trainers] started feeling and touching on everything on my elbow. That's when I could tell it already started to swell up and hurt everywhere they touched, right around there. I didn't even have a chance to say I wanted to pitch before they said, 'You're not going back out there.'"
An X-ray on Beavan's elbow was negative, but the righty said there was considerable swelling. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he would have to see how the elbow was feeling Tuesday before making any decisions on Beavan's next scheduled start.
Hisashi Iwakuma threw well in three innings of relief after running into trouble when he entered the game. With two outs in the fourth, Brennan Boesch singled home Prince Fielder from third to put the Tigers up, 2-0. Iwakuma escaped further damage when, with two on base, a Ryan Raburn drive landed inches foul down the left-field line. Raburn eventually struck out looking.
Shawn Kelley, Charlie Furbush and Steve Delabar combined for three shutout innings after Iwakuma.
"Well, the bullpen did give us a chance," Wedge said. "Obviously, Blake got it in the arm and came out of there early. Iwakuma did a great job, as well as the rest of the guys -- Kelley, Furbush and Delabar. Gave us every opportunity to be in position to try to get something going."
In his first start against his former team, Fister -- who was traded to Detroit July 30, 2011 -- kept the Mariners at bay. Reinstated from the disabled list earlier Monday, the lanky right-hander pitched efficiently, needing just 73 pitches in seven innings of work. He scattered four hits, struck out three and did not issue a free pass.
But because of Dotel's erratic pitching and a couple of clutch at-bats by the Mariners, Fister has nothing to show for his strong start.
"It's hard to describe that feeling, unless you're in it," Wedge said. "You still got a lot of work to do, you've got to finish it off, but the feeling after you do come back and win is a fantastic feeling. You really feel good for your players, who were out there battling and working to win the ballgame."