Mariners’ rookie manager stands up for his club during eighth-inning jawboning between benches.

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ARLINGTON, Texas – It was a plodding, lackluster game for nearly three hours, until suddenly, it wasn’t.

Suddenly, the Mariners, previously moribund with a bat in their hands, were banging hits all over, and out of, Globe Life Park in the eighth inning. And then, even more suddenly, the spark being lit in the Mariners’ dugout exploded.

Tellingly, it was Scott Servais leading the charge, standing up for his players even as they were greasing the way for his first managerial victory. Of any sort, unless you count intermittent fill-in work in the minors while in the Angels organization.

Servais had said he had felt surprisingly calm during his debut the day before, confident in his preparation and finding comfort in the familiar environs of a baseball dugout. He’d spent so much of his life there that it helped quell the nerves that people kept asking him about.

“There is only so much I can do,’’ he shrugged. “Put them in spots where they can succeed and then hope for the best.”

On Tuesday, in the midst of a rousing 10-2 Seattle victory, Servais found something else he could do besides manipulating a lineup and a bullpen – which he did flawlessly. And that’s show his players that he will fight for them.

Which is why, after former Mariner Tom Wilhelmsen hit Chris Iannetta with a blatantly suspicious pitch directly following a home run, two doubles and another homer, and after Iannetta barked angrily at Wilhelmsen as he walked slowly to first, Servais sprang into action.

No one would say much about the specifics of what happened next. As Iannetta jawed with Wilhelmsen, most Mariners players came out in front of the dugout. They were led by Servais, who wound up pointing and yelling at Texas manager Jeff Banister, who pointed and yelled back in a heated exchange.

“It’s just baseball; leave it at that,’’ Servais said.

“It is what it is; it’s part of the game,’’ shrugged Iannetta, who otherwise clammed up.

But in many ways, Wilhelmsen’s pitch and Iannetta’s reaction were a gift to Servais, who was able to give a hands-on, up-close demonstration of the words he had been speaking since he was hired: It’s OK to show emotion in baseball. And if in the process you send a message to the Rangers, the defending division champion, still the ballclub to beat in Servais’ estimation and a team they’ll face four more times in the next eight days, and 19 times overall – well, that’s OK, too.

“If we want to get where we want to go, it’s going to take everybody,’’ he said. “Myself, the coaching staff, players. … It’s a serious game. You want to take it seriously. A lot of guys’ livelihoods are at stake. But it’s time to get after it. Obviously there’s some things that went back and forth tonight. It’s part of the game.”

And Servais’ part of the game was something that Mariners players were thrilled to witness.

“It was nice to see Scott fired up,’’ said Nelson Cruz, who launched his first home run of the season in the fourth. “It showed us he has our back. In a situation we needed him, he stepped up. It showed a lot.”

“I like that stuff,’’ added Robinson Cano, whose first-pitch monster homer in the eighth inning started the onslaught against Wilhelmsen. “I like when your manager gets fired up. That’s good. He’s protecting his guy. That’s what you want. You don’t want a manager that doesn’t take care of his players.

“He’s one of those, and I have more respect for him now.”

Afterward, Servais was still rubbing beer out of his hair from the traditional shower commemorating his first win, a ceremony he shared with Luis Sardinas in honor of his first career homer. On the desk in his office was a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne, courtesy of the Mariners’ training staff.

“It’s a thrill, obviously, to get the opportunity to manage and lead this club,’’ he said. “Along the way, we were going to win a game. It’s exciting. Spring training couldn’t have gone, really, any better, where our club was at and where we’re headed.”

The Mariners had four homers to go with three doubles, encouraging after a four-hit dud in their opening 3-2 loss to the Rangers.

“I think that was us right there,’’ Cano said. “We showed we can compete with anyone.”

In this case, the competition spilled over in the sort of visible display of fire that has been rare for any Mariners team of recent vintage.

“It’s nice to see the guys pull together,’’ said Servais, who reiterated: “I’m way OK with showing emotion.”

Just in case the message wasn’t clear, he gave a passionate demonstration on Tuesday.