The Knights assumed a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning, chasing starting pitcher Lance Pendleton (L, 8-7) with two outs.
Durham (66-78) chipped away with three runs in the middle innings. Cole Figueroa stroked an RBI-single to get the Bulls on the board. In the sixth, Kevin Kiermaier singled home his first Triple-A run, followed by a run-scoring double by Nevin Ashley to close the gap to 5-3.
The game saw two pitches in the eighth before heavy rains came down halting play.
Leslie Anderson finished the game 1-4 with a run scoring, finishing third in the International League batting chase with a .309 average.
Pendleton lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs to absorb the defeat. Jim Patterson made his Triple-A debut, fanning the first four hitters he faced, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Stephen Vogt went 2-3, while Ashley was 2-3 with an RBI-double.
South Division champion Charlotte won the season-series 15-6, including a perfect 10-0 at Knights Stadium over the Bulls.