Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has had his eye on Chris Martin for quite some time now.

“Like I told you guys a while ago, since ’19, I was like, ‘Man, that guy will be great here,'” Cora told reporters following Boston’s 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night, as seen on NESN postgame coverage.

Cora couldn’t have been more spot-on with his assessment. Martin has been absolutely superb in his role as a high-leverage reliever in the Red Sox bullpen this season.

The strong showings from the 37-year-old kept going against the White Sox as Marin stayed in the closer with Kenley Jansen still on the COVID-19 injured list and he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to lock down his third save.

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Martin, who got his start in the Red Sox organization over a decade ago and signed a two-year deal worth a reported $17.5 million with Boston this offseason, owns an excellent 1.05 ERA as he has allowed just six runs in 51 1/3 innings.

“Not saying that we envisioned this, but we envisioned a guy that was going to be dominant,” Cora said. “It’s been a year and a half of domination for him when he got to the Dodgers. He’s healthy. He makes quality pitches. It’s not about throwing strikes, it’s quality strikes. He can go anywhere in the strike zone. He changes speeds. Obviously, he was part of the organization and he’s back. He feels very comfortable with the people here, the training staff, some of the coaches, and he’s been outstanding.”

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Putting up zeros on the scoreboard has been routine for Martin. His outing Friday was his 20th consecutive scoreless appearance, which ties him for the sixth-longest streak in franchise history, according to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long.

The last time Martin, who found a “good routine” last season after being traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, surrendered a run came back on July 28.

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“I’m not really thinking about all that, all the numbers and all that,” Martin told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Just go out and try to win the game is basically is what I’m trying to do.”

While Martin might not be thinking about where his stellar season stands in Red Sox history, Chris Sale took notice and is quite impressed by the right-hander.

“He’s done a helluva job for us. As consistent as you can possibly be,” Sale told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “What better to have than something like that in the back of your bullpen.”

Here are more notes from Friday’s Red Sox-White Sox game:

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— Chris Sale turned in another strong performance, keeping the White Sox scoreless through five innings of work while letting up three runs and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts. It was good for Sale to finish another injury-filled season strong, but what’s most important is closing out the campaign with good health.

“That’s the main focus,” Sale said. “I want to finish the year strong, want to end on the right foot, and then just going into the offseason, not rehabbing something. Just kind of have a normal offseason for once.”

— Alex Verudgo showcased patience at the plate, not something he has done much this season, as he walked three times. Verdugo had just walked three times in his last 34 games entering Friday’s contest.

— With Boston beginning its final homestand of the season, both Cora and Sale lauded the fans that came out to support the Red Sox despite their last place standing in the American League East.

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“For them to come out here and still support us, we appreciate it,” Sale said. “We still feed off of it. We’re athletes, we’re competitors, so no matter what may or may not be coming, we still want to go out there and take pride in what we do.”

— The Red Sox placed infielder Luis Urías on the 10-day injured list prior to the contest with a left calf strain. Boston recalled Enmanuel Valdez to fill the spot on the active roster.

— Rain is in the forecast again for the Red Sox when they face the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images