Forget about all the Take Jake stuff.
Sure, a trip to the All-Star Game would have been great for Jake Peavy, but anyone familiar with the White Sox' frenetic starting pitcher knows he'd much rather win games, division titles, American League pennants and World Series championships.
There has been one huge roadblock keeping Peavy from the win column this year: run support.
In his 4 starts before Friday, Peavy logged 30 quality innings and allowed only 9 runs. But the Sox scored only 2 runs over the stretch, and Peavy lost all four outings.
"He could have 9, 10, 11 wins right now if we could've scored some runs for him," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "But it just seems like every time he pitches we haven't been able to get a hit or drive a guy in or whatever it is."
The trend continued Friday night in front of 27,129 sweaty patrons at U.S. Cellular Field.
Peavy was out on the mound giving it his all again, but it looked like he was headed for his third 1-0 loss of the season when he served up a solo home run to Toronto's Adam Lind in the second inning.
Finally, in the fifth, the White Sox' offense broke through for the veteran right-hander. Taking advantage of some poor defense by the Blue Jays, the Sox scored 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 errors and went on to 4-2 victory.
For Peavy (7-5, 2.85 ERA), it probably felt more like 14-2.
"We did it, didn't we?" Peavy said with a wide grin. "For a little bit, I thought I might end the season on 6 (wins). Great win, great job by everybody. It's just a good team win against a guy (Jays starter Aaron Laffey) who has been pitching very well. We scrapped a few out and we battle.
"I wasn't on top of my game by any means, but we battled. A.J. battled with me. We won the first pivotal game and it gives us a chance to win one of the next two and win the series and go into the break on a good note."
Peavy is from Alabama and Pierzynski is from Florida, and the two have gone at each other like the Crimson Tide and Gators the past few seasons. But they were on the same page Friday, with Peavy allowing 1 run on 5 hits in 7 innings.
Pierzynski not only called a typically good game, he gave Peavy some more breathing room with a solo home run (No. 16) in the sixth inning.
"We finally scored for him," Pierzynski said. "He'd been throwing the ball really well. Tonight, we didn't do a great job of it, but we got enough hits and scored enough runs because he pitched well enough to get the win."
Even a narrow lead is better than pitching when you're behind 1-0 or 2-1, and Peavy appreciated the support.
"It's a whole different feeling, I promise you that," Peavy said after the Sox won their fourth straight. "When you get a lead in a ballgame as a starting pitcher, it changes the whole way you go about things. I know it shouldn't.
"You shouldn't think much changes. But your thought process, your aggressiveness, you know you have room to wiggle a little bit. You are more aggressive, and it's just nice."