It was decided in the 10th inning when Alex Presley slapped a grounder in no-man's land off Joe Blanton, making only the ninth relief appearance of his career. Rollins fielded it cleanly, but it was a difficult play. Presley barely beat the throw.
Ultimately, Pittsburgh did what the Phillies couldn't. They bunted successfully when required. They mustered an extra-base hit - a leadoff double in the 10th by Rod Barajas - in a crucial moment.
These two teams have combined for three extra-base hits in two games. It took the Pirates 17 innings for their first; a Josh Harrison double off Chad Qualls. The Phillies had none Saturday.
But they were not without their chances.
With a smaller margin for error and fewer weapons, Manuel's strategy is clearly affected. The ninth inning bred questionable tactics. Pence drew a leadoff 10-pitch walk. Jim Thome was standing on deck, but as Pence trotted to first, Manuel called him back to keep Laynce Nix at the plate. He then asked Nix, who did not attempt a sacrifice bunt in 2011, to lay one down. He fouled the first Joel Hanrahan pitch off and then popped the next bunt into catcher Rod Barajas' glove.
Now Manuel used Thome for John Mayberry Jr. and the future Hall of Famer entered to a standing ovation from the large contingent of Phillies fans. Pence stole second, which would have negated the need for a bunt in the first place. Thome struck out, the Pirates pitched around Carlos Ruiz, and rookie Freddy Galvis went down on three pitches.
Manuel has stressed the importance of scoring early, and he demonstrated by asking Jimmy Rollins to bunt in the first inning. Rollins, batting third, came to the plate with runners on first and second and none out. He laid down a sacrifice bunt, his first in more than two years. But only one run scored (on a Hunter Pence single) because Nix and Mayberry stranded two on base.
Lefties have a career .300 batting average against Jeff Kartens. He started for the Pirates on Saturday, and typically that would mean good things for the Phillies. But they are no longer dominated by power-hitting lefties. Manuel's solution was inserting Nix.
After the first-inning run, Karstens was hardly in trouble. Nix reached third base in the fourth inning, but Galvis - still hitless in his brief career - flied harmlessly to left.
The Phillies allowed their first run in the 15th inning of the season. Lee issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Yamaico Navarro before Jose Tabata laced a single up the middle. It was the first ball hit by the Pirates to leave the infield since the first inning.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Lee tried a first-pitch curveball to Andrew McCutchen. The pitch, which had become such an effective option in 2011, was flat Saturday. He threw it six times, none for strikes, and the final one produced chaos.
It bounced in front of Carlos Ruiz, off the catcher, and to the backstop. Ruiz recovered, but his toss flew by Lee's outstretched glove. Navarro scored on Lee's first wild pitch since Aug. 11, 2011.
Lee threw only 59 strikes, his fewest when pitching at least six innings since 2006. He fell behind hitters regularly, yet Pittsburgh's ineptitude saved him from damage. They did not have a runner on second base until tying the game in the sixth.
It stayed that way when two comatose offenses traded barbs until Presley's legs won it.
Contact Matt Gelb at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @magelb.