Albert Pujols sat out with flu-like symptoms, although he kept his 30-game hitting streak intact. But his presence was sorely missed by the Cardinals, who never threatened in the middle innings against Telemaco.
"My whole goal was accomplished, to keep my team in the ballgame," Telemaco said. "And to score enough runs for me, it was exciting to go out there and do my job. When you take the best hitter (out) of the lineup, it is a different approach."
Telemaco (1-0) allowed just two runs and four hits and got stronger as the game progressed. He retired the last 14 hitters and did not allow a hit over his final four innings.
Bobby Abreu singled with one out in the third inning and Thome followed with his third homer in as many days and 33rd of the season into the upper deck in right field to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. After Cardinals starter Brett Tomko (9-8) walked Mike Lieberthal and got Chase Utley on a flyout, Burrell belted Tomko's next pitch over the left field fence to make it 6-2.
"The two guys we have been counting on gave us a big lift," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
Phillies reliever Turk Wendell allowed Tino Martinez's one-out solo homer in the ninth inning that made it 6-3 and hit the next batter, Edgar Renteria. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa came out to argue that Wendell should be ejected since both teams were warned earlier in the game when Cards rookie Bo Hart was hit in the helmet by Terry Adams.
Closer Jose Mesa entered and allowed Miguel Cairo's RBI single. The Cardinals sent Eduardo Perez to the plate instead of Pujols and Perez struck out. Mike Matheny walked and Mesa was pulled in favor of Mike Williams. Cameras caught Mesa, recently restored to his closer role, kicking over a fan while exiting the dugout to the clubhouse. Later, Mesa reportedly shoved a reporter, who asked him a question in the clubhouse.
"They are all experienced and they all know what is at stake here," Bowa said. "We will try and get the right matchups. Mesa will be in there on Tuesday."
St. Louis again opted against using Pujols as Kerry Robinson hit for Hart. Williams fanned Robinson for his 27th save and second with Philadelphia.
The Phillies won their fifth straight and remained one-half game in front of Florida for the National League wild card lead. Philadelphia starts a 13-game road trip Tuesday in Milwaukee. Kevin Millwood (12-8, 3.80) will go against Ben Sheets (10-10, 4.24) in the series opener.
Telemaco posted his first win since June 6, 2001. The right-hander, recalled from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, struck out seven and walked none.
"Telemaco pitched great," Bowa said. "A little shaky the first two innings, but he threw seven innings, 104 pitches, no walks."
The game did not start off well for Telemaco as Orlando Palmeiro connected for his second homer with one out in the first inning to give St.Louis a 1-0 lead.
The Phillies came right back in the bottom of the frame, thanks to some wildness by Tomko. He walked leadoff hitter Marlon Byrd and Abreu doubled with one out. After Thome popped out, Tomko's wild pitch scored Byrd and a walk to Lieberthal preceded Utley's RBI single.
St. Louis tied the game in the second inning when Martinez scored on a groundout by Cairo. The Cardinals got one-out singles in the third inning by Palmeiro and Jim Edmonds before Telemaco struck out former Phillie Scott Rolen and Martinez to begin his string of 14 in a row.
Despite the loss, the Cardinals remained one game behind first-place Houston in the National League Central Division, but fell 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the wild card race. The Cards were swept in a three-game series at Veterans Stadium for the first time since 1993 in their final visit to the stadium.