Sam Gaviglio picked up his first career victory and the Mariners used six relievers to edge the Rockies.

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DENVER — It’s a place where four-run leads give you no comfort and a one-run lead will leave you sweating out every decently hit fly ball.

Of all the venues where a lead never feels secure, Coors Field might be the most unforgiving. It feasts on starting pitchers and then treats bullpens as dessert.

So when the Mariners scored six runs in the first five innings and failed to supplement their score, Monday afternoon’s game had all the eerie, impending feeling of late-inning heartbreak, particularly playing the team with the best record in the National League.


Mariners @ Colorado, 4:10 p.m., ROOT Sports

Instead, a rested and slotted Seattle bullpen made a one-run lead stand up over the final three innings to preserve a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies.

It was the Mariners’ second straight win and third of the grueling road trip. If they are able to steal another win Tuesday, they would finish a respectable 4-4 in eight games against three of the best teams in baseball.

“You never know what’s going to happen in this ballpark,” said manager Scott Servais, who played for the Rockies and also worked in the organization. “We had a lot of opportunities and didn’t quite get enough. You are never comfortable here. And you are always hoping to get more.”

But they didn’t.

They watched their 6-3 lead get trimmed to one run in the bottom of the fifth when reliever James Pazos allowed two inherited runners from starter Sam Gaviglio to score.

Up 6-5, the ideal scenario would’ve been to add to their lead to allow the bullpen some margin for error. But it didn’t happen, even after getting the bases loaded with one out in the eighth inning.

But Servais did have a rested group to cover the final three innings and he was going to use them all if needed.

“Hopefully, you get into these tighter ballgames, which we have now, and go to the matchups,” he said. “It was kind of how our bullpen was designed. We haven’t had a chance to go there a lot. But when they are out there and fresh, they are really good.”

Pazos started the seventh and recorded his fourth out of the game. Right-hander Tony Zych came in to retire the next two batters, including striking out the ultradangerous Charlie Blackmon swinging to end the inning.

With the No. 2, 3, 4 batters hitting in the eighth, Servais played matchups, using three different pitchers. Nick Vincent started the inning to face two right-handed hitters. He got D.J. LeMahieu to ground out, but walked all-everything third baseman Nolan Arenado after being up 1-2 in the count.

Servais had Marc Rzepczynski ready and warm to face lefty Carlos Gonzalez. The Mariners’ lefty specialist notched his one out needed, getting Gonzalez to roll over on a soft ground ball to second. With two outs and the tying run still on first, Servais went to young right-hander Dan Altavilla to face Mark Reynolds.

The other two options would have been veteran Steve Cishek or closer Edwin Diaz for a four-out save. But Servais opted for the stuff of Altavilla and the potential for a strikeout over Cishek and didn’t want to push Diaz after pitching Sunday.

“It was an opportunity,” Servais said of going to Altavilla. “I said to Mel (Stottlemyre Jr.), ‘Let’s find out where Dan Altavilla is.’ ”

Altavilla fell behind immediately 2-0, something that plagued him early in the season and earned him a demotion to Class AAA Tacoma. But he came back with a brilliant fastball on the outside corner for a called strike. He blew another 98 mph fastball past a swinging Reynolds for strike two. Altavilla ended the inning with a nasty slider that Reynolds could only wave at for strike three.

“He made a good 2-0 pitch and a great slider on 2-2,” Servais said. “We are going to need him. Everybody has to contribute here. You can’t be afraid to go to guys. I know Danny had his struggles earlier, but he’s thrown the ball much better.”

The ninth belonged to Diaz as was the original plan going into the season. Of course, Diaz had a 10-day hiatus from closing when mechanical breakdowns led to command issues and poor outings. But there have been no such issues since returning to the role. Diaz made quick work of the ninth, striking out the first two batters he faced and getting the final out on a soft ground ball to third for his ninth save of the season.

“I feel really good,” Diaz said. “I’ve worked a lot to feel like this. I’m throwing my pitches down in the zone and throwing strikes. I’m trying to keep everything simple. I’m trying not to rush my body and stay back.”

The mechanical tweaks and the ability to make in-game adjustments when they fall apart during an at-bat have Diaz back to where the Mariners envisioned.

“Eddy has his confidence back,” Servais said. “You can see it. Commanding the fastball is the big thing, and when he does that then the slider doesn’t have to be perfect. When you can work the game to have that anchor in the ninth inning, it is so valuable. We have the pieces to do it. But you have to have that guy at the back end.”

The bullpen’s work secured Gaviglio’s first big-league win. He pitched into the sixth inning, giving up five runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout.

“Five innings in Coors Field, young guy, we’ll take it,” Servais said.

Seattle scored its six runs against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood. The Mariners picked up three runs in the third without a run-scoring hit, taking advantage of a leadoff hit by the pitcher Gaviglio, a hit batter and a walk that loaded the bases.

In the fifth, Kyle Seager delivered a two-run double to right-center and Danny Valencia followed with a run-scoring single to left. Valencia had three hits.

“We created a lot of traffic out there,” Servais said. “A lot of guys contributed. Our offense is starting to come together a little bit. It’s good to see.”