The teams combined to use 16 pitchers, nine by Atlanta, and played for 4 hours, 43 minutes. When it was over, the Marlins -- who rallied from two runs down in the ninth, then dug out of a 5-4 hole in the 13th -- spilled out onto the field, mobbing each other in a postseason-like celebration.
"If we'd lost that thing, I think it would have killed us," said Marlins interim manager Harry Dunlop, who's filling in for Jack McKeon until Friday. "This might be the turning point. We got the thing going. Everybody on that bench was enthusiastic tonight and wanted it in a bad way, because these guys have just buried us."
Andruw Jones hit his major-league leading 25th home run to lead off the 13th inning, a towering shot to left field that put the Braves in position for their sixth straight win and their 22nd in 30 tries against Florida since the start of last season.
But the Marlins rallied -- just as they did in the ninth off Atlanta closer Chris Reitsma, who blew his fourth save in 10 chances.
The Marlins were down to their final strike in the 13th when Paul Lo Duca singled to center off Adam Bernero (4-3). That hit brought Luis Castillo home with the tying run, and Encarnacion -- who also hit his 10th homer -- then ended it with a hit to right, enough to allow Cabrera to score from second.
"I figured if I made a good throw, we'd have a shot at him," Atlanta right fielder Ryan Langerhans said. "I short-hopped it a little and that was enough."
McKeon is attending a relative's funeral in New Jersey and won't rejoin the team until it opens a series in New York on Friday against the Mets.
He missed a wild, emotional night.
Castillo had four hits, and Cabrera had three hits and two RBI for Florida, which had lost nine of its last 13 home games. John Riedling (4-1) got the win in relief, despite allowing Jones' home run.
Kelly Johnson and Brian Jordan also homered, and Rafael Furcal had his fourth straight multihit game for Atlanta -- plus scored two runs and stole his NL-leading 28th base. Furcal hurt his right leg in the sixth inning and left two innings later; Braves manager Bobby Cox said his starting shortstop is day-to-day.
"We thought we had it won when it was 4-2 in the ninth. Then we thought we had it won on Andruw's home run," Cox said. "They kept coming back on us."
Florida strung together four straight singles -- two of them infield hits, and another bouncing off the glove of shortstop Wilson Betemit -- off Reitsma in the ninth. Cabrera's second RBI drove in Juan Pierre, and Carlos Delgado poked the ball toward the left side of the infield to bring Castillo home with the tying run.
Reitsma failed with his arm, but his body kept the Marlins from winning the game in the ninth.
Lo Duca's two-out liner -- which probably was hit hard enough to bring Cabrera home with the winning run - bounced off Reitsma's torso, and he recovered to throw to first in time and send the game to extra innings.
"The scorecard says I gave up four hits. Three of them didn't leave the infield," Reitsma said. "I feel like I did my job. I should have been out of that inning four or five times."
Jordan's homer, his third of the year and first in 128 at-bats, opened the scoring in the second. Atlanta went up 2-0 in the third; Furcal doubled, then scored on Marcus Giles' double into the left-field corner.
Encarnacion's homer cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth, but Johnson hit a two-run shot, his fourth of the season, off Al Leiter in the fifth. Leiter allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings -- and saw his home ERA dip slightly, from 10.43 to 10.15.
Atlanta managed just one hit between the fifth and 12th innings.
Florida got one run back in the fifth, when Cabrera's single brought home Pierre. And the Marlins hung around just long enough to steal a win.
"It was a good win," Pierre said. "Us getting down and coming back like that, it was big for us."
- Florida and Atlanta also played a 13-inning game on April 6, a 2-1 Braves victory.
- The Marlins did not announce Wednesday who'd start Thursday's series finale. Right-hander Josh Beckett (blister) believes he's ready to come off the disabled list; if Beckett doesn't pitch, Scott Olsen is the probable starter.
- Furcal now has 499 career runs, one more than Glenn Hubbard for ninth all-time in Braves' history.
- Charlie Hough, the knuckleballer who started the Marlins' first-ever game, was in the crowd.
- Jones has 13 home runs in June, a new Braves franchise record.