RSL bolstered its Supporters' Shield credentials with an emphatic win over struggling Columbus.
The Montreal Impact and LA Galaxy had inched closer to the Royals with wins earlier in the day, but the Claret-and-Cobalt cruised to three points to open up daylight.
Real Salt Lake's first goal was somewhat fortuitous right at the end of the first half. Javier Morales' free kick deflected off the Columbus wall and again off Kyle Beckerman, the changes in flight sending goalkeeper Matt Lampson the wrong way.
Devon Sandoval finished a good RSL passing move for the second, racing into the box to touch home an Olmes Garcia cross after he was played down the wing by Javier Morales.
Young star Luis Gil ended even the most fervest hopes of a Crew comeback with an 82nd-minute goal. Picking up Ned Grabavoy's slide-rule pass inside the box, Gil sidestepped a defender and picked his spot past Lampson.
Beckerman added his second of the night right at the end of regular time. Sebastian Velasquez's deflected cross fell to the unmarked midfielder, who teed up to hit home.
Things somehow managed to get even worse for Columbus in stoppage time, with Federico Higuain picking up a second yellow card and extending an accumulation suspension he was already due to recieve for his first caution.