"We have two out, nobody on, a bunt right back to the pitcher, and all we do is throw the ball away, and then the inning got away from us," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "That was probably the key in the game."
Rodriguez's miscue was the A's 38th error of the season in as many games. The club has recorded at least one error in each of the last 13 games, which matches the longest such streak by an A's team since April 7-21, 1983.
It's a tired trend the A's can't seem to buck. Ditto their seventh-inning woes, with 37 runs allowed in the frame in 38 games. Alas, the club carries baseball's worst record, at 13-25 -- including 1-13 in one-run games.
"When you're in that many games, and you lose by one run that many times, certainly you expect to win more of them," said Melvin. "We just haven't, and we gotta find a way to do it. It's frustrating. A lot of times, it feels like the same game. Whether we come back to be down one run or give it up, we're just not getting quite enough."
Rodriguez had quickly retired each of his first two batters before airmailing Eaton's ruled bunt single past first base.
"I just didn't make a good play on it," said Rodriguez. "That probably should have been one where I just kept it, let him have a base hit. That changes the whole game there. Guy's at first, you can hold him on. That changes everything with the whole approach. I just made an awful decision there.
"Right now, it seems that's the inning that goes against us. Hopefully we can figure out whatever it is and get after it."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.