Austin Jackson reached on a fielder's choice when Brad Miller was forced out at second base. Franklin Gutierrez then chopped a single through the left side, and for the third straight inning Seattle had the winning run at second base with one out.
This time Cano came through.
Charlie Furbush (1-1) pitched the top of the 11th for the victory. Furbush and Carson Smith combined for three solid innings and kept Detroit off the scoreboard despite the Tigers having runners in scoring position in the 10th and 11th.
Seattle hit three home runs, including Cano's solo shot in the fifth inning that gave the Mariners a 6-5 lead. That lasted until the eighth when Yoenis Cespedes hit his 12th homer of the season on a 0-2 pitch from reliever Fernando Rodney and driving it beyond the center field wall.
Seattle had chances in the ninth and 10th innings but was unable to get runners in from second. In the ninth pinch-runner Brad Miller advanced to second with one out but Bruce Rondon struck out Gutierrez and then threw pitches of 101, 101 and 100 mph to Cano, getting him to pop out to left on the final one.
The Tigers had even more missed opportunities. Detroit had the go ahead run at third base in both the 10th and 11th innings and couldn't get a key hit. Furbush allowed a leadoff double to Victor Martinez to open the 11th, but struck out Alex Avila, Nick Castellanos and pinch-hitter Rajai Davis with pinch-runner Andrew Romine standing at third.
Seattle starter Taijuan Walker (8-6) was in line to win his sixth straight start before Rodney's mistake. Walker was knocked around by the Tigers giving up three homers and needed defensive help to escape the sixth inning with the lead.
Walker tied his season high with three home runs allowed and allowed his first walk in 111 batters when he walked Alex Avila in the second inning. Walker's streak had reached 28 1-3 innings before Avila reached.
Walker gave up homers to Avila, Nick Castellanos, Marc Krauss to give Detroit a 3-0 lead. Walker also gave up a two-run homer to Avila in the fourth that tied the game at 5.
Detroit starter Kyle Ryan failed to make it out of the third after giving up a grand slam to Jackson and Gutierrez's first major league homer since Sept. 27, 2013.
Krauss arrived in Seattle on Tuesday after be claimed off waivers by the Tigers. He had spent time with Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Angels earlier this season, but was quickly grabbed by the Tigers because of his ability to play first base. Krauss was at home with his wife, who is 39 weeks pregnant, when he got the call he was joining the Tigers.
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (7-7) looks to win his fifth straight decision. Over his last five starts, Sanchez is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA.
Mariners: Lefty J.A. Happ (4-5) tries for his second straight win. Happ had gone nine straight starts without a victory before beating Oakland last Friday.