MINNEAPOLIS -- Sitting in his office about 10 feet away from the Kansas City Royals locker room, manager Ned Yosts voice was nearly drown out by the thunderous hip hop music blaring and the full-throated cackling from his players in the next room. The young Royals have good reason to celebrate these days. Alcides Escobar tied a career high with four RBIs on two doubles and Salvador Perez homered to lift the Royals to a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. "Thats what we need," Perez said. "Have some fun and play the game hard." Danny Duffy (5-7) gave up one run and four hits while striking out three in 5 2-3 innings and Mike Moustakas had two hits for the Royals. Kansas City (43-39) has won three of four and is off to its best start since 2003. "Were very confident in what we have in the tank," Duffy said. "Weve got a great offence, great lineup. The defence is always flashing the leather. When we go out there and make pitches, its going to be a good night." Yohan Pino (0-2) gave up four runs and seven hits while also striking out three in 5 2-3 innings for the Twins. Eduardo Nunez had two hits and an RBI in his return from the disabled list for Minnesota, which has lost six of its last seven games to drop into last place in the AL Central. "Weve been facing some pretty decent pitching, and I dont know if its pressing," said manager Ron Gardenhire, whose Twins went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. "I just know were just not getting enough big hits right now. Were not putting any runs on the board. A lot of pressure on our pitchers to be really good." The Royals entered the night 3 1/2 games behind Detroit in the division and 1 1/2 games out of the AL wild card. For a team that has been endlessly rebuilding and hasnt made the playoffs since 1985, those are encouraging numbers as the season reaches its midpoint. They grabbed everyones attention with a 10-game winning streak that vaulted them into first place in June, but had lost seven of 10 games as the bats cooled off. The Royals signed 42-year-old Raul Ibanez on Monday, hoping he can help boost the teams scuffling offence and give a little extra support to a solid starting rotation. Ibanez broke into the big leagues with the Royals a decade ago, but hit just .157 in 57 games for the Angels this season. They had plenty of offence with him on the bench on Monday night. Pino was shaky early, getting tagged for a two-run double by Escobar in the second inning and an RBI-single from Alex Gordon in the fourth to fall behind 3-0. Perezs solo homer in the sixth ended Pinos day and the Royals took advantage of two throwing errors by second baseman Brian Dozier in the eighth, padding their lead with Escobars second two-run double of the game. "When youre not going good, youre not capitalizing on mistakes," Yost said. "When youre playing well, you do capitalize on mistakes. Thats exactly what we did tonight, which was big. Those were two big runs right there. Thats a lot of breathing room." NOTES: Twins GM Terry Ryan said prized prospect Byron Buxton is getting close to returning from a wrist injury that has kept him out for most of the season. Ryan said there still is no timetable for a return, but hed be surprised if Buxton wasnt back on the field sometime in July. ... Twins RF Chris Parmelee extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a double in the fifth inning. ... Moustakas made two stellar plays at 3B, a lunging catch on a liner by Kendrys Morales in the second and a scoop and force out at 3B to end a threat in the seventh. ... Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-6, 5.74) will start the second game of the series against RHP James Shields (8-3, 3.79). 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His biggest fan in the world just might be UFC President Dana White, and thats just one reason Barao is the star of UFC 173. Barao (34-1) faces T.J. Dillashaw in the main event at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Saturday, headlining the UFCs traditional Memorial Day weekend card in its hometown. "I think (Barao) is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world," White said. "I love this guy." Its tough to argue with White, given Baraos 22-fight winning streak and perfect record in UFC competition. The 135-pound Brazilian dynamo excels with both jiu-jitsu and strikes, fighting with a flair that has led to stoppages in six of his last nine fights. "I think I have a lot to improve in my game, but its always a pleasure to hear from your boss that you are the No. 1," Barao said. "This is the recognition of the hard work and training." Barao likely faces bigger obstacles than Dillashaw (10-2), a heavy underdog, on his path to stardom. Barao is a champion of a lighter weight class, which makes him traditionally less interesting to many fight fans. He also doesnt speak much English, making him tough to promote in North America. Even his Brazilian fans dont know much about his personality outside the cage -- although at least they know his last name isnt actually Barao, the Portuguese word for Baron and a nickname given to him by his grandmother. But with the UFC looking for new attractions in the absence of Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, Barao is getting a chance to show off his incredible skills on another major stage, and White is confident fans will figure out what theyre seeing. "With Anderson, it took a long time for people to catch on," White said of his long-reigning former middleweight champion. "It doesnt happen overnight. When you look at the numbers, its all there. (Barao) is a killer. He tries to go in there and finish. Hes the type of guy I like to watch fight." Dillashaw worked his way into position for a title shot with fivve wins in six fights, but his matchup with Barao is the fourth fight that has been scheduled to headline this card.dddddddddddd The Northern California native is eager to take advantage of the chance created when Raphael Assuncao, who beat Dillashaw by split decision last October, dropped out of this title shot with a rib injury. "Hes a great champion, but everyone has holes in their game," Dillashaw said. "Hes sloppy in exchanges, but he makes it work because hes a big, powerful athlete. I need to stay with what Im good at and use my angles to disrupt his power." Just in case Baraos fight against a game underdog doesnt intrigue enough pay-per-view buyers, UFC 173 also features light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier against veteran Dan Henderson, along with a bout between welterweights Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger. Cormier (14-0) is also a rising name in the UFC, but hes not a tough sell. The talkative former Olympic wrestler has been a dynamic fighter in Strikeforce and the UFC at heavyweight and light heavyweight, where hes currently closing in on a title shot against pound-for-pound contender Jon Jones. Henderson (30-11) is a significant underdog, but any fighter is just one punch away from disaster when hes in the cage with the 43-year-old veteran whose knockout power is no longer aided by testosterone replacement therapy. "(Hendersons) big right hand is the single biggest weapon in MMA, even more dangerous than Ronda Rouseys armbar," Cormier said. "It can come at any time from any direction. No question thats what makes this a dangerous fight. But Ive made a career of making those guys, who possess that something special, like they never had it. I need to stay super-focused and avoid those punches." Although Henderson has lost three of his last four fights, he knocked out Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in spectacular fashion just two months ago. 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