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). Custom Denver Broncos Jerseys . The two-time Olympic halfpipe gold medallist informed ESPN on Monday he plans to compete in Apsen, Colo. 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Chen picked up the Royals beleaguered rotation with seven solid innings, pitching Kansas City past the Detroit Tigers 5-2 Sunday. Chen (7-2), who moved into the rotation on July 12 after 19 relief appearances, limited the AL Central leaders to five hits and two runs. He earned the first victory for a Royals starter on their seven-game homestand. "I was pounding the strike zone, mixing in all my pitches, throwing different angles," Chen said. Eric Hosmer had three hits, including a three-run homer in the fifth inning. The Royals stayed close in the wild-card chase, taking the final two games of the series after losing 16-2 Friday. "After that game, it was a bad feeling," Hosmer said. "They just flat out beat us that day. Just to forget it as a team and bounce back like that shows a lot about the character on the team and pitching staff." The Kansas City starters had an 8.00 ERA in the first six games of the homestand, allowing 24 runs on 41 hits and 16 walks in 27 innings. The other four starters had a 9.43 ERA in that span and had failed to make it beyond 4 1-3 innings in four starts. Hosmer homered off Doug Fister after Alex Gordon and Emilio Bonifacio singled with two outs. Fister (12-8) allowed five runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. Chen kept the Tigers hitters off-balance all afternoon. "We hit a lot of lazy fly balls," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "The credit goes to Chen. He changes speeds and got us out in front a lot. You know what youre going to get with him. He changed speeds and got us out in front and mixed his pitches. He was very effective." Greg Holland allowed Prince Fielders double with two out in the ninth, but collected his 40th save in 43 chances. Joakim Soria, Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry are the only other Royals relievers to earn 40 saves in a season. Jose Iglesias, who had not played since leaving the game Weddnesday with shin splints, homered in the third inning after Alex Avila had singled, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.dddddddddddd "Chen pitched how he always pitches," Avila said. "You can look back at any game hes pitched and its always the same. He mixes a lot of pitches, works in and out, changes speeds, and never gives in. "After he gets you out, you go back to the dugout saying, Man, how did I get out?" Iglesias hit his second home run since the Tigers acquired him in a July 30 trade with Boston. "After that pitch, Chen was locked in the entire day," Hosmer said. "We knew if could get a lead and hand it off to the bullpen, wed be in a good spot." The Royals got a run in the fourth when Billy Butler grounded a single. Jarrod Dyson led off the Royals seventh with a triple into the left-field corner and scored when Gordon dunked a fly ball into shallow right over a drawn-in Tigers infield for a single. Chen pitched out of trouble in the sixth. Austin Jackson led off with a double and Miguel Cabrera came up -- he had five career home runs off Chen in 36 at-bats. This time Cabrera hit a comebacker and Chen threw out Jackson at third. Chen fell behind 3-0 to Fielder, who then looked at the next three pitches -- all strikes. "It was a huge play with Miguel," Chen said. "We have a two-run lead and the first pitch, he hits a groundball to me." NOTES: Fielder played in his 486th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the majors. ... C Salvador Perez, who hit a two-run homer Saturday night, was not in the Royals lineup Sunday. Manager Ned Yost said he decided to rest Perez with temperatures reaching 100 degrees and the Royals in a stretch of 44 games in 44 days. ... Leyland said OF Nick Castellanos would start again Monday after making his first major league start Saturday. "Hes got a feel for hitting," Leyland said. "Hes a confident kid in the batters box. 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