"He never shook me off, that's why he threw good," Perez said, laughing.
Whatever signal Perez put down, Duffy delivered and finished his perfect two-inning stint with five straight strikeouts. After Drew Stubbs led off by flying out, the Reds couldn't even get a loud foul and Duffy fanned Willie Harris, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Scott Rolen and Donald Lutz.
"I just feel like my hard work in the offseason is going to continue to give me success. I know I'll hit bumps along the way, but I'm going to continue what I'm doing," Duffy said. "It's early and there's a huge competition for that fourth and fifth spot."
Duffy came into camp charged with throwing strikes and keeping the ball down. He certainly did that Friday.
"The main goal is getting that pitch efficiency up and I need to get the ball down and repeat my delivery a lot more. It's the whole cliche thing, but it's true. And I feel like I worked enough in the offseason to find a delivery that was comfortable for me," he said.
Duffy, who made 20 starts last year for the Royals and was 4-8, even tried a new wrinkle with a cut fastball he learned last year from former pitching coach Bob McClure.
"I threw everything. I even mixed in a couple cutters, which was nice because I wondering how that would play into a game. It feels really good but we've got a long way to go," Duffy said. "This pitching staff is just firing with really good arms. I'm really excited for what's to come."
The cutter, he explained, is harder than a slider, breaks about 4 to 6 inches and goes downward. Votto struck out on one.
"Oh my God, unbelievable," Perez said of Duffy's outing. "He was really good today. He threw the ball down, every pitch for a strike."