ATLANTA — Austin Meadows and the Tampa Bay Rays keep finding ways to rally for wins.
Brett Phillips went from second base to home plate for the tiebreaking run on Meadows' single in the top of the 10th inning, and the Rays held on to beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 on Friday night in the first game for both after the All-Star break.
After trailing 6-4, the Rays pulled even in the eighth. Meadows, an Atlanta-area native, had an RBI single in that two-run rally.
"That's just kind of the Rays' way," Meadows said. "We never quit and we're never down."
Rays manager Kevin Cash said Meadows, who drove in three runs with two hits, "really picked us up in a big way. The eighth inning ... he really came through and then he came through again."
The 26-year-old Meadows, who played at Grayson High School in Loganville, was playing before friends and family in his first MLB game at Truist Park. He made his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in May 2018 but was traded to the Rays two months later, sending him to the American League and meaning opportunities to play in Atlanta would be more rare.
"It was cool," he said. "Being able to see them in the stands it was just a little adrenaline pump. You just want to do good, especially this being my first time playing here."
It was Tampa Bay's 27th comeback win this season, second in the majors behind the Boston Red Sox (29). The Rays remained 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East Division.
With Phillips opening the 10th on second base per current extra-inning rules, right-hander Jesse Chavez (0-2) walked Brandon Lowe before recording two outs. Chavez then gave up Meadows' go-ahead single to right field, and Phillips slid across the plate to beat Abraham Almonte's throw.
Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman had four hits, including a two-run homer in the fifth. Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson also homered for Atlanta.
Ji-Man Choi's homer to lead off the top of fifth, an opposite-field shot he sliced just inside the left field foul pole, drew the Rays even at 3-all.
Matt Wisler (1-1) had three strikeouts while allowing one hit in two scoreless innings to earn the win, and Pete Fairbanks pitched the 10th for his fourth save of the year.
Charlie Morton, who won a combined 18 games for Tampa Bay the past two seasons before signing with Atlanta, allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in six innings. He had eight strikeouts.
Atlanta's bullpen gave up four runs.
"You score six runs and you should win, really," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
The Rays tied the game at 6 in the eighth with two runs off Chris Martin. Joey Wendle's infield hit drove in Wander Franco, who singled, from third base with the tying run.
After Rays starter Michael Wacha gave up a single to Almonte to start the bottom of the fifth, Freeman pulled a fastball from J.P Feyereisen over the right-field wall for his 20th homer of the year and a 5-3 lead.
Wacha allowed four runs on five hits, including two homers, and two walks in four-plus innings.
Braves outfielder Joc Pederson, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade Thursday, did not arrive in Atlanta in time to be included in the starting lineup. He was activated and grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the 10th to end the game.
Snitker said Pederson likely will hit in the leadoff spot. Infielder Johan Camargo was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Pederson.
The Braves lost right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee last Saturday in a 5-4 road win against the Miami Marlins. Acuña had been the team's leadoff hitter and right fielder.
The 29-year-old Pederson was batting .230 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs in 73 games with the Cubs this year. Snitker applauded general manager Alex Anthopoulos for completing the deal quickly.
"We had an injury and we addressed it right now, immediately," Snitker said.
Atlanta right-handed pitcher Touki Toussaint (right shoulder) was reinstated from the 60-day injured list Friday and could make his 2021 debut Tuesday against the San Diego Padres.
Atlanta right-hander Ian Anderson (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 10-day IL. He won't throw for seven to 10 days and then will be evaluated.
The Braves fell to 44-46 and are in third place in the NL East, four games behind the division-leading New York Mets.