Wisconsin (51-53 overall, 13-21 second half) had an early opportunity against Burlington starting pitcher Jose Macias. The Rattlers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, but Macias escaped.
Burlington (56-48, 11-23) took the lead in the top of the second inning. Tony Thompson homered with one out and the Bees were up 1-0.
Kirby-Jones stepped to the plate with the base loaded and one out in the top of the third inning and doubled off the wall in left to send three runs home, An RBI single by Douglas Landaeta later in the frame got Kirby-Jones home for a 5-0 Burlington lead.
The Rattlers cashed in an opportunity in the bottom of the third. Nick Shaw tripled to start the inning. TJ Mittelstaedt drove him in with a grounder.
But, Burlington got that run back in the top of the fourth on an RBI grounder by Tyreace House.
Jason Rogers pulled the Rattlers back to within four runs with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Then, Kirby-Jones struck again. He lifted a two-run home run to left in the top of the seventh inning and the Bees had an 8-2 lead.
Macias pitched five innings and allowed two runs (one earned for the win). The two Burlington relievers used in the game each went two innings, allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out two to close out the Rattlers.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. Charly Bashara (4-3, 4.90) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Blake Hassebrock (5-6, 2.48) gets the call for the Bees. Game time is 1:05pm.
Sunday is "Bring Your Pup to the Park" Day at Time Warner Cable Field. The left field berm has been set aside as a seating area for canines and their owners. Tickets for dogs are $2 and $5 for their owners. Proceeds from the dogs' tickets will be donated to the Fox Valley Humane Association.
Before the game, fans may play catch on the field presented by momslikeme.com. During the game, the Timber Rattlers players will be wearing jerseys and caps based on those of the 1975 Milwaukee Brewers as part of Brewers Sunday. After the game, players will be available for a post-game autograph session.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark on Sunday, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm.
Tony Thompson (10th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Matt Miller, 1 out)
AJ Kirby-Jones (11th, 1 on in 7th inning off Brian Garman, 1 out)
WP: Jose Macias (3-3)
LP: Matt Miller (4-5)