The Twins defeated Bristol 7-5 on Saturday night. That, combined with Kingsport’s loss to Burlington, handed manager Ray Smith’s team the division title.
Elizabethton (36-26) built a 6-1 lead over the first four and a innings, gathering enough cushion to withstand a rally by the Pirates.
Yeltsin Encarnacion belted a two-run double and Yunior Severino followed with a two-run homer in the second inning. Gilberto Celestino added a solo home run in the third for a 5-0 Twins lead.
Bristol (29-35), which trails Kingsport by three games (with four to go) in the division’s wild-card hunt, had clawed its way back within a run (6-5) by the end of the seventh.
Capping a 3-for-4, 3-RBI night, Celestino lined an RBI single to center in the ninth — providing the Twins a little extra breathing room before Erik Cha finished off a 2 2/3-inning save. Cha allowed just one run and no hits in his outing.
Starter Josh Winder worked five innings for the victory, yielding three runs, striking out seven batters and walking none.
Encarnacion went 2 for 4 with two runs and a pair of RBIs. The Pirates’ Gabriel Brito batted 2 for 3 and scored twice.
The two teams play again Sunday night in Bristol. Start time is 6.