An early goal from Corey Baird and a late one from Aliyu Ibrahim helped Houston defeat Columbus 2-0 on Wednesday to extend the Dynamo's home dominance over the Crew.
The Dynamo (11-10-5, 38 points) improved to 7-1-7 all time at home against Columbus.
Baird scored in the 14th minute and Ibrahim's goal in the 90th minute was on a breakaway from a pass by Hector Herrera as the Crew (12-8-6, 42 points) pressed for the equalizer.
Steve Clark made three saves for his 12th shutout of the season as the Dynamo won their third straight.
Columbus, which entered the match tied with St. Louis City for the most goals in MLS, was shut out for the second time this season. Patrick Schulte made four saves.
The Crew are 2-7-3 on the road.
The Crew made five lineup changes and looked the part with a disorganized first half and Houston made them pay for it.
Griffin Dorsey found Baird on a timed run that put him behind the back line in stride with only Schulte to beat. Schulte made the initial save with his right hand but Baird settled the rebound and calmly deposited it into the net for his seventh goal.
The lead nearly doubled at the 25-minute mark. Baird set up Franco Escobar on the left side of the box. Schulte made a save at the near post that bounced to Herrera, whose shot from 18 yards hit the crossbar.
Columbus came to life just before the break. Max Arfsten in the second minute of stoppage time forced a save by Clark at the bottom-left corner for the Crew's first shot on goal and less than two minutes later Cucho Hernadez sent an open header off a corner kick over the bar.
The Crew didn't have another chance until Hernandez had a redirect from 18 yards that Clark stopped.
— Field Level Media