Cincinnati baseball fans reap free pizzas

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Cincinnati • Cincinnati Reds pitchers are striking out batters at a record pace, and their fans are eating it up — literally.

A local restaurant chain has promised free pizza for ticket-holding home fans any time pitchers whiff at least 11 opponents. It's paid off six times already in the season's first three weeks.

While LaRosa's Pizzeria corporate officials might hear some good-natured grumbling from store operators about all the pizza they give away, a marketing chief for the Cincinnati-based eatery says the promotion is a big hit.

Marketing executive vice president Pete Buscani says many customers buy other items when redeeming their game tickets. And, importantly, they come in smiling and are building positive feelings about the LaRosa's brand.

Free pizzas so far have been worth more than $100,000.