The Crew took advantage of a Salt Lake defense weakened by the absence of Jamison Olave, injured in last week's MLS All-Star game.
''They're a really good team defensively,'' Columbus midfielder Robbie Rogers said. ''They have a great defensive record and we talked about really getting at them and testing them.''
The Crew went up 1-0 lead in the 5th minute after Rogers worked the ball down the left flank and crossed the ball into Gaven. He needed a single touch to blast a shot inside the right post past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando for a big, early lead.
''It was the best 10 minutes we had all season,'' Crew coach Robert Warzycha said.
Rogers set up another goal just a few minutes later. He found Heinemann in the 10th minute with another cross and Heinemann headed it past Rimando.
RSL never managed a serious scoring chance. During the first half, Salt Lake tallied zero shots on goal. By game's end, RSL managed to outshoot Columbus 16-10. Only three ended up on frame.
It was the third time this season where Salt Lake yielded two goals in a home match. In previous instances against Seattle and New England, RSL ended up with a loss and a draw. It also was the fourth time in team history that Salt Lake allowed two goals in the first 10 minutes and the first time since 2009.
''It was great to be able to go up early here and take a little bit of pressure off our defense,'' Gavin said. ''We scored two really good goals early.''