CLEVELAND — Indians manager Terry Francona isn’t messing around.That’s the message he sent when he brought in reliever Andrew Miller with two outs and nobody on in the fifth inning Thursday night. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was at 76 pitches at the time, and Miller is a traditional setup man or closer. MORE: Top 50 players in the playoffsA move that could have easily backfired instead worked, and the Indians held off the Red Sox 5-4 at Progressive Field to take a 1-0 lead in the ALDS. What in the world goes into that decision? “Well, No. 1, he’s really good,” Francona said. “There was a lot of a combination of t

hings. I didn’t want the meat of their order to come through for a third time if they had a chance to tie the game, and Trevor was nearing 80 (pitches) coming back on short rest.” Did Francona tell Miller that was the plan beforehand?“He didn’t put a number on it,” Miller said, “but I knew to be ready. I think everybody is at this point. These games are a bit different. We have more days off.”MORE: Must-see ALDS photosIt was unorthodox. Miller had not pitched in the fifth inning all season and threw a season-high 40 pitches in his two-inning stint Thursday.It was risky. Miller immediately got into trouble by giving up a double to Brock Holt and a walk to Mookie Betts.It threw off the bullpen order. Bryan Shaw allowed a leadoff homer to Holt in the eighth inning, and that pushed Cody Allen into a five-out save.Guess what; it worked out in the end. Miller faced David Ortiz in a critical spot, and worked a 2-2 count before getting a strikeout to end the fifth. Miller then worked a scoreless sixth inning and retired the first two batters in the seventh before giving way to Shaw. He finished with four strikeouts.MORE: Three takeaways from Game 1This is exactly why the Indians made that trade with the Yankees in late July, right?“They made him throw a lot of pitches,” Francona said. “That’s a heck of a lineup, but he was up to the task. That’s why he got him.”Francona’s timing worked for a few reasons. Bauer had gone 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs to that point, but he had also entered the game with a 12.91 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against the Red Sox.Perhaps it was a bold move by necessity. The Indians don’t have starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar (both injured), and the win ensured that Game 2 starter Corey Kluber will get two shots at the Red Sox if necessary. Miller’s highest pitch count with the Indians this season was 35.As for the bullpen, Miller, Shaw and Allen combined to allow one run on four hits with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.SPAEDER: Use top relievers when it matters most“Maybe as more and more stats come out, we realize there are bigger moments in the game than the eighth and ninth inning and that can be appreciated,” Miller said. “The playoffs are a different animal. It’s something that whenever Tito asks anybody to pitch, we’re all going to be ready to go.”That’s a tone-setter. Francona took a risk that was by no means calculated but still added up. Again, it worked. If Kluber delivers in Game 2, then it could be the move that defines this series. Francona joked that Kluber is on a “tight 165-to-170” pitch count Friday, and the bullpen plan “might have to be a little bit different by design.” Then Francona got down to what makes decisions like this easier in the playoffs.“Nobody ever said you have to be conventional to win,” he said. “We’ve talked about our bullpen, and those guys did a heck of a job.”