Stults, who took the loss, showed he was a bit rusty, pitching three perfect innings before being hit hard in the fourth.
The Indians also punished Ramon Troncoso and them ripped rookie Aaron Miller for five runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Garrett Anderson strengthened his bid for the left-handed pinch-hitting roll by adding a long triple to a pair of singles that boosted his average to .438.
Blake DeWitt banged his second homer of the season and that was the only run until the eighth inning uprising.
Close Through Three
The Dodgers wasted a leadoff double by Xavier Paul in the first inning -- collecting as many hits as they had through 8.2 innings the night before -- and also a Garrett Anderson leadoff single in the second.
Lefty Eric Stults drew the start and retired the 10 of the first 11 Indians he faced, gave up his second walk of the game in the fourth inning and then in quick succession it all unraveled. Travis Haefner doubled in one run and Austin Kerns boomed a shot into the Dodgers bullpen in left field.
Stults, who had made only one other spring game appearance in which worked two innings, walked Luis Rodriguez and was replaced by Ramon Troncoso. Stults had sailed through the first three innings, allowing 10, 9 and 15 innings before he apparently ran out of gas.
Troncoso allowed a single, then shortstop Chin Lung Hu threw a double play relay past a diving James Loney at first base to allowed a fourth run to score.
Blake DeWitt banged the first pitch in the bottom of the inning into the Indians bullpen in right field for his second home run of the spring Garrett Anderson tripled to the wall in left-center with two out but was left stranded.
Troncoso was tapped for three hits and, helped by an error on DeWitt, the Indians added two more runs to lead 6-1.
With two out in the last of the fifth, J.D. Closser and Xavier Paul singled but DeWitt, who had homered in his previous at-bat, popped to short.
Aaron Miller took over in the top of the sixth inning. Miller, 22, was the Dodgers No. 1 selection in the 2009 amateur draft. Pitching at Great Lakes last season he went 3-1 with a 2.08 earned run average, striking out 38 in 30 innings.
In his introduction to The Show, he may have thought it looked much like the Class A Midwest League.
His first pitch was driven to deep center field for a triple by Michael Brantley. Paul picked the ball up and dropped it twice before throwing it in (the third error of the game for the Dodgers) and Brantley made a complete tour of the bases to score the seventh run for Cleveland.
The youngster got a ground out and allowed a single. Then on a high fly to right field, Andre Ethier called DeWitt off the ball and it glanced off his glove for a charitable double. A single to center scored both runners. A home run into the right field seats ended his afternoon.
The Dodgers scored five times in the bottom of the eighth. Brian Barton singled, DeWitt walked and Rafael Ynoa ran for him and rookie Jovanny Rosario singled to load the bases. With one out, Jason Repko's fielder's choice scored one, two scored when the Cleveland first baseman fell down and could not handle a throw from second. Rookie Chris Henderson's single knocked in the fourth and final run.
Cleveland added a run in the ninth off Juan Perez and the Dodgers went out in order in the ninth.
Coming into spring training, the Dodgers had All-Star Russell Martin, Major League veteran Brad Ausmus, A.J. Ellis and Lucas May to handle the backstopping chores.
But then Martin pulled a groin muscle, Ausmus came up with a sore back and suddenly, with the Dodgers playing five games in three days, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, J.D. Closser found himself starting against the Cleveland Indians.
Closser, 30, who has spent 11 years in the minor leagues and 160 games with the Colorado Rockies during parts of 2004, 2005 and 2006, was signed in February of 2009 and played for Chattanooga and Albuquerque, hitting .228 with the Lookouts and l295 with the Isotopes.
Lenny Harris, Dodgers senior minor league batting coach and baseball's all-time pinch-hit leader with 220, suffered arm and chest pain and was rushed to a Phoenix hospital where he underwent a quadruple heart bypass.
Reports say Harris didn't suffer a heart attack, but he was found to have life-threatening blockages in four arteries.
Harris, in his second season with the Dodgers, was said to be resting comfortably on Sunday. Both Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and team spokesperson Joe Jareck said the club could not disclose medical information about Harris.
Harris, 45, is baseball's all-time leader in pinch hits with 220. As a big-league player, he spent five of his 18 seasons with the Dodgers. He presently serves as the senior hitting coach for Camelback Ranch, where the Dodgers' spring training, Arizona Rookie League and fall Instructional League operations are based.
Harris was the Major League hitting instructor of the Washington Nationals in 2008.
Probable Pitchers Split Squad: Monday, March 22. vs. Angels, starter LHP Clayton Kershaw, RHP Jeff Weaver, RHP Jonathan Broxton and LHP George Sherrill. At Brewers, starter RHP Russ Ortiz, RHP Carlos Monasterios and RHP Charlie Haeger.
Score by innings Cleveland 000 425 001-12 Los Angeles 000 100 050- 5 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Paul cf 3 0 2 0 .350 Barton lf 2 1 1 0 .250 DeWitt 2b 3 1 1 1 .371 Ynoa pr-2b 1 1 0 0 .000 Ethier rf 3 0 0 0 .316 Rosario rf 2 0 1 0 1.000 Loney 1b 3 0 0 0 .273 Mientkiewicz 1b 1 0 0 0 .286 Anderson lf 3 0 3 0 .438 Repko pr-lf 1 1 0 1 .056 Belliard dh 4 0 0 0 .150 Sands pr 0 1 0 0 .000 Green 3b 3 0 0 0 .176 Henderson 1 0 1 1 1.000 Hu ss 3 0 0 0 .250 Berroa ss 0 0 0 0 .375 Closser c 3 0 1 0 .333 Knoedler c 1 0 0 0 .333 ----------------------------------- Totals 37 5 10 3 Cleveland 38 12 13 10 Errors- Hu (1), DeWitt (3), Paul (1). Two-base hits- Paul (1). 3b- Anderson (1). HR-DeWitt (2). RBI- DeWitt (5), Repko (3), Henderson (1). LOB- Los Angeles 7, Cleveland 4. RISP- Los Angeles 2-for-12, Cleveland 4-for-9. DP- DeWitt and Loney; Berroa, DeWitt and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Stults 3.1 2 4-3 2 2 5.07 Troncoso 1.2 4 2-1 0 1 7.20 AMiller 0.1 4 5-5 0 0 67.50 Ayala 0.2 0 0-0 0 0 4.26 Castillo 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 0.00 Perez 1.0 1 1-1 0 0 4.50 T- 3:01. Att- 9,754.Dodger Blue Notes --Russell Martin continued his rehab this morning and had a number of at-bats in a simulated game against minor leaguers RHP Tim Sexton and LHP Sean Thompson. ...Entering play, Dodger second baseman Blake DeWitt ranks among the NL's Cactus League leaders in batting average (.375, 8th) and on-base percentage of .459 (sixth). Catcher A.J. Ellis also ranks among the NL Cactus League leaders in on-base percentage with a .448 mark (8th) and outfielder Andre Ethier ranks eighth in the circuit with a .629 slugging percentage. ...On the mound, Dodger pitchers hold three of the top ten spots in ERA with Ramon Ortiz (1.38, 2nd), Chad Billingsley (1.86, 3rd) and Russ Ortiz (2.00, 9th). Carlos Monasterios would lead the league with a 0.00 ERA in 8.0 innings, but does not have enough innings to qualify for the NL Cactus League leaders. Ramon Ortiz also leads the all NL pitchers with 17 strikeouts in Spring Training. ...Camelback Ranch, the award-winning (now record-breaking) home of the Dodgers and White Sox, has hosted a Cactus League single-game record crowd on three consecutive days. Last night, the Dodgers and Padres played before 13,506 fans after the facility set records on Friday (Cubs at White Sox, 13,413) and Thursday (Cubs at Dodgers, 13,391). ...Andre Ethier and RHP Charlie Haeger were both featured on ESPN programs Sunday morning. Ethier appeared with current White Sox and then-Padres pitcher Jake Peavy on Baseball Tonight as the two rehashed a seven-pitch battle from May 1, 2009. Haeger was featured along with minor league pitching coach Charlie Hough in a SportsCenter special on the art of the knuckleball. Dodgers Publicity