ATLANTA (AP) - 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.
Yadier Molina gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with his eighth homer in the second inning. The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Wainwright allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and one walk in seven innings.
Minor, who became the first Braves pitcher to reach 10 wins, lowered his ERA to 2.89. His strong start was especially important after Hudson's season ended when he was injured on Wednesday night against the Mets.
The Braves took a 2-1 lead with four hits off Wainwright in the second. Brian McCann doubled, moved to third on Dan Uggla's single and scored on Chris Johnson's single to left field. Minor added a single with two outs to drive in Uggla.
Heyward pushed the lead to 3-1 with his eighth homer, a one-out shot to left field, in the fifth.
With one out in the seventh and Johnson on first base following his second hit, Joey Terdoslavich pinch-hit for Minor and hit a grounder to shortstop Pete Kozma, who threw wild toward second base. Johnson scored on the error.
Jordan Walden pitched a perfect eighth inning before Craig Kimbrel recorded the final three outs for his 29th save.
Heyward, sprinting toward the infield from right field, made a diving catch to take a hit away from David Freese in the fifth inning. Heyward rolled and came up holding the ball as Minor slapped his glove in approval on the mound.
NOTES: Of Minor's 103 pitches, 70 were strikes. ... Attendance was 50,124, a sellout. ... Hudson had surgery to repair his broken right ankle. His wife, Kim, said on her Twitter account the procedure went well. ... RHP Brandon Beachy, recovering from right elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June 2012, will come off the DL to take Hudson's rotation spot Monday night against Colorado. ... Cardinals LHP John Gast had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder. He could return in eight to 12 months. Gast was 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA in three starts before he was placed on the disabled list on May 26 with a left shoulder strain. ... Atlanta's Julio Teheran will face Joe Kelly in a matchup of right-handers on Saturday. Kelly will make only his fourth start of the season.
In a letter dated July 23, the attorney general said the criminal charges Snowden faces do not carry the death penalty and that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty even if Snowden were charged with additional death penalty-eligible crimes.
Holder says his letter follows news reports that Snowden, who leaked information on largely secret electronic surveillance programs, has filed papers seeking temporary asylum in Russia on grounds that if he were returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.
The attorney general's letter was sent to Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov, the Russian minister of justice.
Holder's letter is part of an ongoing campaign by the U.S. government to get Snowden back.
The attorney general's letter may allay reported Russian concerns about how Snowden might be treated if he is deported to the U.S.
Some Russian politicians, including parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin, have said Snowden should be granted asylum to protect him from the death penalty.
If Snowden were to go to a country that opposes the death penalty, providing assurances that the U.S. won't seek the death penalty may remove at least one obstacle to his return to the U.S.
"I can report that the United States is prepared to provide to the Russian government the following assurances regarding the treatment Mr. Snowden would face upon return to the United States," Holder wrote. "First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States." In addition, "Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States," Holder's letter said.
The attorney general said that if Snowden returned to the U.S. he would promptly be brought before a civilian court and would receive "all the protections that United States law provides."
Holder also said that "we understand from press reports and prior conversations between our governments that Mr. Snowden believes that he is unable to travel out of Russia and must therefore take steps to legalize his status. That is not accurate; he is able to travel."
Despite the revocation of Snowden's passport on June 22, Snowden remains a U.S. citizen and is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States, said the attorney general.
A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Russia has not budged from its refusal to extradite Snowden.
Snowden, who is believed to have been staying at the Moscow airport transit zone since June 23, applied for temporary asylum in Russia last week. The United States wants him sent home to face prosecution for espionage.
Asked by a reporter whether the government's position had changed, Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies that "Russia has never extradited anyone and never will." There is no U.S.-Russia extradition treaty.
Peskov also said that Putin is not involved in reviewing Snowden's application or discussions of the ex-NSA contractor's future with the U.S., though the Russian Security Service, the FSB, had been in touch with the FBI.
In an interview with The Associated Press, an injured American passenger said he saw on a TV monitor screen inside his car that the train was traveling 194 kph (121 mph) seconds before the crash — far above the 80 kph (50 mph) speed limit on the curve where it derailed.
Police lowered the death toll from 80 to 78 as forensic scientists matched body parts at a makeshift morgue set up in a sport arena in Santiage de Compostela, the train's destination and a site of Catholic pilgrimage preparing to celebrate its most revered saint.
Investigators have opened a probe into possible failings by the 52-year-old driver and the train's internal speed-regulation systems.
The driver, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, was officially detained in the hospital where he was recovering, said Jaime Iglesias, the National Police chief of the Galicia region. He is being question "as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident," Iglesias said.
The driver is under guard by police and cannot yet testify because of his condition, Iglesias said, adding that he did not have details on his status but that it could delay efforts by police to question him.
Police are still working to identify what they believe are the remains of six people, and that the death toll count could change as they continue their work matching body parts, said Antonio De Amo, the police chief in charge of the scientific service for Spain's National Police.
An American victim was identified by the Diocese of Arlington in northern Virginia as Ana Maria Cordoba. Also among the dead were an Algerian and a Mexican, Spanish police said Friday.
Investigators, meanwhile, have taken possession of the train's "black box" and will hand it over to the investigating judge, Iglesias said. The box has not been opened yet, he said.
The box records the train's trip data, including speed, distances and braking, and is similar to a flight recorder for an airplane. A court spokeswoman Maria Pardo Rios declined comment on how long analysis of the box's contents would take.
Meanwhile, Stephen Ward, 18-year-old Mormon missionary from Utah, who was on the train said he was writing in his journal when he looked up at the monitor and saw the train's speed. Then, he said, "the train lifted up off the track. It was like a roller coaster."
Seconds later, Ward remembered, a backpack fell from the rack above him and he felt the train fly off the track. That was his last memory before he blacked out.
When Ward woke up, someone was helping him walk out of his train car and to crawl out of a ditch where the car had toppled over. He thought he was dreaming for 30 seconds until he felt his blood-drenched face and noticed the scene around him.
"Everyone was covered in blood. There was smoke coming up off the train," he said. "There was a lot of crying, a lot of screaming. There were plenty of dead bodies. It was quite gruesome."
___ Clendenning reported from Madrid. Ciaran Giles and Brady McCombs contributed from Madrid and Salt Lake City.