CHICAGO -- Mark Prior made it clear he didn't rush his return from the disabled list.
"I felt pretty good," Prior said. "Most athletes know if they're ready or not."
Corey Patterson's solo homer in the sixth broke a scoreless tie for the Cubs, who took two of three on the road to split the season series at three games apiece. The White Sox won two of three at Wrigley Field in May.
Making his first start since May 27, when a line drive fractured a bone in his right elbow, Prior (5-1) dominated the White Sox, who have the best record in baseball. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
After allowing a single to Pablo Ozuna in the third, Prior retired his final 10 batters and erased any doubts about whether he was ready to return.
While he was out, Prior threw two simulated games but did not make any minor-league rehabilitation starts.
"After the first simulated game, I didn't feel ready. After the second one, I did," said Prior, who threw 71 pitches -- 50 for strikes. "I just tried to go out there and throw a good game."
Trying to become the first 13-game winner in the majors, Garland (12-3) gave up two runs -- one earned -- and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one. Garland retired his first 10 batters before Neifi Perez's single and shut out the Cubs through the first five innings.
With one out in the sixth, Patterson homered to right on an 0-2 pitch. He has 11 home runs -- all solo shots.
"It may have been a curve down and in," said Patterson, who was 6-for-39 on the Cubs' 10-game trip before that shot. "I was able to keep my head on it and just put a good swing on it. ... To be honest, I thought it was a pretty good pitch."
The Cubs added an unearned run in the seventh.
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko booted a leadoff grounder by Jeromy Burnitz for an error. Burnitz stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Todd Walker's sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
"I think what made it even a better ballgame was the way Burnitz ran the bases in that inning," Prior said. "That insurance run was key."
Ozuna singled with two outs in the third and advanced to second on a balk, but Scott Podsednik grounded out.
The Cubs' first hit came with one out in the fourth on a hard grounder by Perez off the glove of diving second baseman Willie Harris.
Ozuna, playing shortstop, saved a run with a diving stop in the fifth, when Garland ran into trouble with two outs. After Walker singled and Michael Barrett walked, Todd Hollandsworth hit a hard grounder up the middle. Ozuna sprawled out behind the bag and flipped the ball to Harris for the force.
The Cubs finally broke through against Garland, but Prior and the bullpen shut down the White Sox, who have not scored in 16 innings.
"When he's locating like that, it doesn't matter if we would have swung the bat well," Konerko said. "That's it -- he's pretty good."
With Prior back and Kerry Wood (strained right shoulder) expected to come off the disabled list this week, the Cubs think they can break the win-a-few, lose-a-few cycle they've been on this season.
"When those guys were hurt, we battled as a team," Patterson said. "We don't want to forget that. But having those guys come back is definitely going to be a great addition. It'll help us move ahead."
- To make room for Prior, the Cubs sent left-hander Rich Hill to Triple-A Iowa. Hill had a 4.76 ERA and no decisions in three relief appearances.
- With a sellout crowd of 39,143, the White Sox surpassed 1 million in attendance in their 39th home game, the fastest they've reached the mark since 1994, when they did it in 34 games.
- Ozuna made his sixth consecutive start at shortstop in place of Juan Uribe, who has a sore back.
- The Cubs' Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-4, ending his 12-game hitting streak.