HOUSTON - On a day Houston honored Craig Biggio, one-time heir apparent Chris Burke made his fourth straight start at second base for the D-Backs.
Burke does not look forward or backward as his career unfolds; he is simply enjoying the moment and hoping to make the best of it.
"It's just nice to get back to the position I played so much of my career," said Burke, who has an opportunity at second base in Orlando Hudson's absence.
"I enjoy getting back to the infield and enjoying the game. Not only for my own enjoyment, but to remind people I can play there."
Burke's four-game hitting streak was stopped Sunday, but he had his first two home runs of the season on the road trip and can expect more time at second base down the stretch.
Burke spent most of his season in less-familiar spots, playing first base for the first time in his career when Conor Jackson was injured on the first trip and later becoming part of a right-field platoon with Alex Romero after Justin Upton went down July 9.
"That's my job description, play where they need me," Burke said.
Burke "is smelling that opportunity," Melvin said.
"He loves to compete. Some of his bigger hits have come in bigger at-bats. (Former Houston manager) Phil Garner told me to stick with him, because he has a chance to do something distinctive at the end."
WEST VS. WEST
The Diamondbacks will play the AL West in interleague play in 2009, according to the tentative schedule that has been distributed to clubs for their approval.
The D-Backs are to visit Oakland and Seattle while playing host to Texas and Seattle. They also will visit Kansas City.
That could give Dan Haren a chance to pitch in Oakland, where he worked from 2005-07. He beat the A's on June 19 at Chase Field.
BARNETTE ON A ROLL
Former ASU right-hander Tony Barnette may have pitched himself back to the Valley.
Barnette, 10-7 with a 3.85 ERA for Double-A Mobile, is a top candidate to participate in the prospect-filled Arizona Fall League next month.
Barnette, a 10th-round draft pick in 2006, has won his last five starts and his last six decisions for the BayBears. He is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 12 starts since June 13, and he leads the Southern League with 121 strikeouts.
"He's matched quality with quantity," D-Backs director of player development A. J. Hinch said. "He's a strike-thrower, and he's gotten better every year."
Barnette, 6 foot 1 and 192 pounds, is third in the Southern League in victories and tied for fourth with 142 2/3 innings.
Conor Jackson got his first day off since June 6 on Sunday while in a 3-for-21 stretch at the plate. "You can get worn down mentally, as well as physically," Melvin said. Jackson had played 62 straight games, starting 61 and entering the other as part of a double switch. ...
Augie Ojeda (back) was also given a day off. ...
The D-Backs game against Los Angeles at Chase Field on Aug. 31 has been moved to5:09 p.m. to accommodate ESPN2, which will telecast the game. It was originally scheduled to start at 1:10 pm.