MIAMI (AP) — Rocked in his first start since 2012, Miami Marlins left-hander Randy Wolf is optimistic he can do better — if he gets another chance.
Wolf was hit early and often Sunday in a 7-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed nine hits and six runs, four earned, in five innings.
The Marlins had hoped 37-year-old left-hander could settle into the starting job that became vacant when ace Jose Fernandez was sidelined earlier this month by a season-ending elbow injury.
"We had talked about how Jose's spot was going to be tough to fill," manager Mike Redmond said. "We'll just have to see where it goes from here."
Wolf (0-1) gave up four consecutive hits in the first inning and trailed 5-0 by the second. He didn't pitch in 2013 and is trying to come back from the second Tommy John surgery of his career.
"This is not the first time I've had a bad game," Wolf said. "Especially early on, everything was up, and a few times I painted myself into a corner with the counts I was in. The only thing I can take out of this game is that things got better as the game went on."
NL Central leader Milwaukee won two of three games in the series and improved to 18-6 against the Marlins since the start of 2011.
"This is a good team that we just played," Redmond said. "They outslugged us, and that ended up being the difference."
Miami fell to 20-8 at Marlins Park, still the best home record in the majors. The Brewers went 4-6 on their longest trip of the season.
Brewers rookie Jimmy Nelson earned his first career victory in his season debut, pitching 5 2-3 scoreless innings in a spot start. The Brewers gave Nelson a game ball and sent him back to Triple-A Nashville, which was the plan even before the game.
"He was really impressive — dominant stuff," teammate Ryan Braun said. "A guy who's that good, you know you'll see him again soon."
Rated the Brewers' top prospect, Nelson was recalled to start for Yovani Gallardo, who is nursing a sore left ankle. The 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed five hits and three walks, but Miami went 0 for 7 against him with runners in scoring position.