Mike Minor allowed only one run to give Atlanta's depleted rotation a lift, Jason Heyward homered, and the Braves beat Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in a matchup of division leaders on Friday night.
Minor (10-5) gave up four hits with no walks in seven innings.
His sharp performance came two days after Tim Hudson was lost for the season with a broken right ankle.
The Atlanta rotation also is without left-hander Paul Maholm, who isn't on the disabled list but is expected to miss at least one start because of a bruised left wrist.
Wainwright (13-6), the NL leader in wins, took his first loss since a 2-1 decision to Texas on June 23.