Mets make unorthodox move to keep Robert Gsellman in rotation

ATLANTA — The Mets’ rotation is now a six-pack.

After saying earlier in the week he was considering a six-man rotation, manager Terry Collins made it official Friday, announcing the club will remain with six starters beyond Saturday’s doubleheader.

Robert Gsellman originally had been slated for bullpen duty following Saturday, but the right-hander has pitched to a 2.95 ERA in his past three starts, causing team officials to reconsider an equation that will include Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, each of whom will be activated from the disabled list to pitch this weekend.

The Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Braves on Friday began a stretch of 18 games in 17 days — their next day off is June 26 — providing another reason the six-man rotation could make sense for a team in need of a rebound from its rotation. The Mets entered play with a 5.07 ERA from starting pitchers.

Zack Wheeler might benefit the most from the extended rotation as team officials continue to monitor his innings workload in his first season back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2015.

Neil Walker was absent from the lineup for a second straight game with stiffness in his left knee. The second baseman told Collins about the discomfort following Tuesday’s game in Arlington, Texas, and was held out Wednesday, which preceded an off day on the schedule. T.J. Rivera started at second base Friday in Walker’s spot and went 0-for-3.

After the loss, Collins said Walker was unavailable.

Paul Sewald’s recent struggles continued as he allowed two runs in the sixth inning. The rookie reliever had allowed only three runs over the first 20 innings of his major league career, extending to May 28, but has been roughed up lately. That included allowing five runs against the Pirates on June 2.

Curtis Granderson’s home run was the 299th of his career. Only eight active players have at least 300 career homers.