Zack Wheeler has been injecting bone growth drug into stomach

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Mets starter Zack Wheeler has been injecting a bone growth drug into his stomach daily for the last six months in an attempt to prevent injury, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports. The drug is called Forteo and helps to form new bone, increase bone mineral density, and increase bone strength.

Wheeler said, “You do a shot in your stomach every day for six months. It’s not fun, but you got to do it. They give it to people with brittle bones, osteoporosis. My arm feels great. I’ve been on the mound six times now so if this helps me get to 30 starts, I’m all for it.”

Wheeler, 27, missed the entire 2015 and ’16 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He struggled over 17 starts last year before his season ended on July 22 due to a stress reaction in his right arm. Wheeler debuted in 2013 but has made only 66 starts in his major league career due to injury, so it’s understandable why he’s going to great lengths to try to stay healthy.

“I’m just kind of tired of getting labeled as unreliable, as ‘He’s always hurt.’ I missed two seasons but that was because of one injury. I can’t help that. I worked my butt off in rehab, was doing great and then this bone issue,” Wheeler said.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).