Mets' Frank Francisco activated

SAN DIEGO -- The New York Mets activated closer Frank Francisco from the disabled list for Friday's series opener against the San Diego Padres.

Francisco had landed on the DL with a left oblique strain after a June 22 appearance. That day, he created a hullabaloo by calling the Yankees "chickens" in a New York tabloid.

Francisco made five rehab appearances with Double-A Binghamton. He said he continues to be bothered by tightness with his right lat after appearances but believes that is caused by compensating for the injury that sent him to the DL.

Francisco tore his right lat in 2010.

Manager Terry Collins said he may be unable to use Francisco more than consecutive days in a save role.

Fill-in closer Bobby Parnell officially was 4 for 6 in save chances in Francisco's absence, although that is slightly misleading. Parnell was credited for a hold despite being pulled from Monday's game in San Francisco in the ninth inning. The Mets were unable to protect a two-run lead that inning, although they won the game against the Giants in the 10th.

To clear roster space for Francisco, the Mets put reliever Tim Byrdak on the disabled list with shoulder soreness. Byrdak will have an MRI Monday.

Collins also said Johan Santana (right ankle sprain) is expected to throw three innings in a minor league rehab game for Class A Brooklyn on Sunday or Monday and is likely to return Saturday against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.