There were many ways Cardinals manager Mike Matheny could have described his club’s victory Wednesday at Coors Field — resourceful or tenacious would be two — but he decided to go with more personal terms.

“It was one of my favorite wins,” Matheny said. “I love them all. But when you watch guys come back, you see elements of the power, you see a young guy stand out with the pitching. … Huge win — coming back from behind and then we’ve got a pup on the mound.”

The Cardinals backed lefty Marco Gonzales in his major-league debut with a drumbeat of offense that overcame a four-run deficit and persisted for a 9-6 victory against the Colorado Rockies. With a mile-high kid on the mound the Cardinals maintained the kind of steady offense that is preferred at the Rockies’ mile-high park. Colorado scored five runs in one inning off Gonzales to test the prospect, but the Cardinals answered by scoring in five different innings to take Wednesday’s win and the three-game series.

“Gutsy,” Matheny added.

Gonzales, the 19th overall pick in the 2013 draft, became the first Cardinals pitcher to leapfrog from Class AA straight to the majors to make his debut as a starter since 1998. The Cardinals were pressed into promoting him because of shoulder injuries to Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia this past weekend.

Before Gonzales threw a pitch, Matheny listed all the milestone moments in a young player’s

career — his major-league debut, his first game in his hometown, his first game against his favorite boyhood team.

“All the things we’re throwing at him on the first day,” Matheny said.

Gonzales, a native of nearby Fort Collins, Colo., was greeted with an ovation when he went out to warm up before Wednesday’s game, and another ovation welcomed him back to the dugout before the game. His father, Frank, a pitching coach in the Rockies’ minor-league system, sat a few seats away from the Cardinals dugout. His mother, Gina, spent close to $6,000 in tickets for friends and family. The 22-year-old lefty gave the Cardinal converts from Fort Collins more to cheer as he had two souvenir baseballs before the Rockies had a hit against him.

Gonzales’ first career strikeout came on his 10th pitch.

The ball went to the Cardinals’ dugout.

Gonzales’ first career hit was a double on his second swing.

The ball went to the Cardinals’ dugout.

Gonzales’ double became the Cardinals’ first run of the game and the first lead he’s pitched with at the big-league level. He scored on an RBI single by Matt Holliday, a player he used to cheer on from the seats when Holliday was with the Rockies.

“I was scared to death taking my lead at third because I didn’t want him to rope one at me,” Gonzales said.

The lefty retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, and he didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, the inning his start wobbled. The Rockies sent nine batters to the plate and pelted the rookie with five runs and three extra-base hits. Gonzales was unable to locate his offspeed pitches and the Rockies “hunted fastballs,” he said. The result was a 5-1 lead for Colorado. Gonzales went from nine outs on his first 35 pitches to needing 30 pitches to escape the fourth.

Gonzales pitched a scoreless fifth inning to put polish on his line and begin a stretch where the Cardinals held the Rockies to one run on two hits. Relievers Pat Neshek (2-0), Sam Freeman and closer Trevor Rosenthal held the Rockies without a hit for three innings as the offense pecked, pecked, pecked away.