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Eaton gets chance to play in front of family, friends

Eaton gets chance to play in front of family, friends

Eaton gets chance to play in front of family, friends

CINCINNATI -- The D-backs' four-game series with the Reds at Great American Ball Park this week is a bit of a homecoming for outfielder Adam Eaton.

Eaton grew up about hour and a half away in Springfield, Ohio, and he went to school at Miami University, which is around 40 minutes from Cincinnati in Oxford.

"It's extremely neat," Eaton said of getting the opportunity to play in Cincinnati. "I've been a Tribe fan my whole life, and we always came down here when they played the Reds. I saw probably a dozen or so games here, so to be playing here is a little different for sure."

Eaton left about 25 tickets for family and friends, and he estimated all told there will be over 100 in attendance, with most securing their own tickets.

Some of Eaton's family made the drive over to Pittsburgh, where the D-backs took two of three from the Pirates over the weekend.

Eaton's section of fans could be heard when he delivered the go-ahead two-run single in the 16th inning Sunday.

"It was nice to have a little cheering section on the road," Eaton said.

Playing in front of a hometown crowd presents its own set of challenges for a player.

"If you didn't play for your hometown and you're just getting back there, it's probably kind of exciting," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "You're certainly going to have a lot of people there. You've got to try and live a normal life, I guess, for the players, but at the same time, you can't let it get too out of hand. You'd never tell them they can't have their family or people come, but I think there have been times in my career and watched, just observing people and their obligations, it affects their play. You've got to try and manage that."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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