CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Bidding for a quick return trip to the Windy City,
as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the
, 4-1, in the rubber game of a three-game series.
Williams (11-3) gave up one run and six hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out six without a walk. With a chance to earn a spot on the National League roster for next week's All-Star Game on the city's south side, the righthander took a shutout into the eighth on the north side.
"I had good control and good location," Williams said. "The best thing I had going for me were the seven guys behind me and my catcher."
"It's a wonderful honor, I'm humbled by it," Williams said.
Prior (8-4) fell to 0-2 in his last four starts after yielding four runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out 11, but the Cubs never recovered after
slugged a three-run homer in the top of the second.
"I've learned a lot in this league this year. You make one mistake and it costs you a ballgame," said Prior, one of two Cubs to make the National League All-Star team. "If I don't hang that slider to Perez, I keep the team in the game and we have a chance to win."
led off the Cardinals' second with a single and
drew a one-out walk before Perez hit a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall and onto Waveland Avenue.
"It's a funny game," Perez said. "He was dominating us at that point. I get a little slider that he hangs and I was able to hit it out of the park. If that doesn't happen, he could be pitching a shutout. Funny things happen in this game."
"This truly is a 25-man team, and that's what it takes to win," La Russa said. "I didn't think when I put Eduardo in there today that he was going to hit a three-run homer to win the game."
Edmonds padded the Cardinals' lead in the fifth an a two-out RBI single.
The loss, Chicago's ninth in 12 games, dropped the Cubs two behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.
"It's disappointing," Chicago manager
said. "We had a chance to get even today and be in first place with them. Our offense struggled once again. It's disappointing, very disappointing."