Jeffers' sixth-inning, two-run blast into the left-field bleachers merely tied the score, according to the Target Field scoreboard. But it also invoked the Jeffers Effect on the game: The Twins are now 12-0 this year, and 18-1 over the past two seasons, when he homers.
It took two more innings for the Twins to fulfill that inevitable destiny, for Trevor Larnach to double home pinch runner Andrew Stevenson, move to third on a wild pitch, then score on a sacrifice fly by, yep, Jeffers again. But Minnesota finally put away its 47th home win, 6-4 over the Athletics.
"It's a great stat," Jeffers said. "On Oct. 3rd and 4th, I'll put one in the seats, and we'll be moving on," he joked, referring to the wild-card postseason round, which starts Tuesday.
Edouard Julien also homered, and Kyle Farmer doubled in a run as the Twins improved to 5-0 against Oakland this year.
The next time Pablo López steps on the Target Field mound, as the Twins' Game 1 starter next week, a lot more will be at stake. But he closed his first regular season as a Twin with 4⅓ reasonably effective innings, striking out six and walking only one. López gave up one run while he was in the game, and two more were charged to him when Caleb Thielbar relieved in the fifth inning and surrendered an RBI double to pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz and a two-run single to Brent Rooker.
"Pablo gave us what we were looking for. It was going to be a shorter start for him, and he threw the ball fine," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "There was some softer contact that fell, but overall he did a fine job."
Jeffers eliminated Oakland's brief lead an inning later after a Max Kepler single — one of four on the night for Kepler — by pounding an 0-2 curveball from Oakland lefthander Kyle Muller 377 feet, his 13th homer of the season. It was only the Twins' fourth homer on an 0-2 count this season, and first since July 17.
* Thursday is the fourth anniversary of Kenta Maeda's most recent regular-season relief appearance. By coincidence, it will also be his first time pitching out of the bullpen for the Twins. Baldelli said Maeda will pitch in relief of Sonny Gray against the A's, as the Twins consider whether that's the best way to use the righthander in the postseason.