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9/6/2013 9:40 P.M. ET

Eaton developing into top-flight leadoff man

SAN FRANCISCO -- Adam Eaton is quickly developing into a solid leadoff hitter, and his numbers support that claim.

Eaton entered Friday with a .385 on-base percentage batting first, as opposed to .333 batting second, and has displayed more patience.

"He's more comfortable," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's starting to play more baseball and getting an idea how you use his tools."

Forcing the opposing pitcher to throw a lot of pitches is one of his biggest strengths as a leadoff hitter. While still being aggressive, he's also patient. He drew 23 walks leading off, or just over 11 percent of his plate appearances entering Friday. That's not the case when he's batting second, walking less than three percent of his plate appearances.

"He's coming around," Gibson said. "He's hard to defend, because he can hit anywhere and has some power. The first time I saw him in Spring Training a couple of years ago, he hit the first pitch off the wall. He's a talented kid."

D-backs not rushing Reynolds back

SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Matt Reynolds may yet return to the D-backs before the end of the regular season, though Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said there's no reason to rush him.

"I know we've talked about looking to get live hitters against him, but nothing is planned," Gibson said. "It's to be determined."

Reynolds, who did not allow a run through his first 19 appearances, has been on the disabled list with a strained left elbow since June 10.

He's thrown a handful of bullpen sessions and is scheduled for a few more before the D-backs take the next step.

"We have different options with him," Gibson said. "We could move him into a controlled environment, like the Instructional League. There's been no decision made yet."

Reynolds (0-2, 1.98) allowed nine earned runs over his final 9 2/3 innings, giving up his only two home runs of the season on June 6. He made his final appearance on June 9 against the Giants.

When Reynolds is right, he's shown the ability to get hitters out whether they are right-handed or left-handed. In fact, he had better success against right-handers this season.

Right-hander J.J. Putz (dislocated right little finger) is rehabbing in Arizona and is following a throwing program. He's getting closer to throwing a bullpen session, but Gibson feels uncomfortable with him doing so with his injured finger taped.

Owings makes first Major League start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Chris Owings had at least a handful of friendly faces in the crowd at AT&T Park when he made his first Major League start against the Giants on Friday.

Owings, Arizona's No. 3 prospect and MLB.com's No. 84 overall prospect, had an idea he might be starting at some point in this series, so both his parents and a few other relatives made the trip.

"They told me last night," Owings said. "It was kind of fun to see my name in the first hitting group."

Owings started at shortstop and hit seventh.

The Pacific Coast League MVP and Rookie of the Year certainly earned the start for his season with the Triple-A Reno Aces, where he previously faced Friday's Giants starter, Yusmeiro Petit.

"We've been working with him for a couple of days," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's seen Petit before, but that doesn't matter. He still has to have good at-bats."

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.