DETROIT (AP) - With a series in Chicago against the Cubs looming next on the schedule, Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin felt leaving Detroit with at least one victory was crucial.
"It was a must-win," Mackanin said after his team beat the Tigers 8-5 on Wednesday. "The guys battled the whole game. To me, they looked like they played like we had to win this game."
Odubel Herrera and Peter Bourjos homered off Anibal Sanchez, and the Phillies salvaged the finale of their three-game series with Detroit. The Tigers had won eight of nine, including the first two games of this set, but Herrera's three-run drive put Philadelphia up 5-1 in the fourth.
Aaron Nola (4-3) and the Phillies were able to hold on from there. Jeanmar Gomez pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 17th save in 18 chances.
Sanchez (3-6) allowed three earned runs and eight hits in six-plus innings. The Tigers made two errors in the fourth before Herrera's two-out homer, so three runs were unearned.
Philadelphia's Andres Blanco swiped home in the second as part of a double steal, with Bourjos taking second.
Maikel Franco left in the seventh with a sprained right ankle but said afterward he'll be ready to play Friday in the Phillies' next game.
Nola allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus missed the game because of the death of his mother. Bench coach Gene Lamont filled in.
The Tigers were without outfielder Justin Upton (right quadriceps tightness) for a third straight game and second baseman Ian Kinsler (flu-like symptoms) for a second.
Sanchez has allowed at least four runs in each of his last five starts, although because of the unearned runs, his ERA actually went down Wednesday from 6.23 to 6.04.
"They're unearned runs, and sometimes unearned runs are a little deceptive, I think," Lamont said. "I'm sure he's kicking himself, he knows they're unearned but he knows he threw a pitch that Herrera hit for a home run."
Bourjos had an RBI single in the second, and the double steal made it 2-0, with Blanco coming home when the throw went to second.
"We have to try things," Mackanin said. "We can't bang it out with most teams, so we've got to try all that kind of stuff, take chances."
Herrera's fifth homer of the season gave the Phillies a four-run lead. Cameron Maybin, J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez hit RBI singles for Detroit in the fifth to make it 5-4.
Bourjos led off the seventh with a homer to chase Sanchez, and it was 7-5 after Miguel Cabrera's RBI single in the bottom of the inning. Philadelphia's Hector Neris relieved David Hernandez, inheriting a first-and-second, one-out situation. Victor Martinez sent a drive down the line in right that looked like it might tie the game, but it went foul, and Neris was able to strike out both him and Nick Castellanos to end the inning.
PHLIPPING THE BAT
Herrera was pulled late in Monday's loss when Mackanin felt he didn't run hard enough after hitting a grounder. He was back in the lineup the next day, and he made a big impact Wednesday with his home run.
He also flipped his bat up in the air at the end of his follow-through on the homer, and when asked afterward if he was more impressed with the homer or the bat flip, he said "both" through a translator.
Herrera said he thought he might get thrown at later, but the Tigers didn't retaliate. Mackanin didn't seem overly concerned.
"A lot of players believe that they should be able to celebrate," he said. "We'll see. We'll just see what happens. I didn't see it. I wish nobody brought it up to me."
Phillies: Franco singled in the seventh and later advanced to second on a throwing error by CF Maybin. He was hurt sliding into second.
Tigers: Detroit transferred the injury rehab assignment of RHP Shane Greene (right middle finger blister) to Triple-A Toledo. He allowed four hits and struck out seven in 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the Mud Hens on Wednesday.
Phillies: Philadelphia's Adam Morgan (1-2) faces Jon Lester (4-3) of the Cubs on Friday.
Tigers: Michael Fulmer (3-1) is expected to start Friday night at Oakland against Sean Manaea (1-2).