Three victories and a draw had seen the hosts make a beeline for a top-four spot in the Eastern Division as third-placed Crew strengthened their claim for an MLS Cup place in recent weeks.
However, Federico Higuain, who has seven goals this season, sent the resulting spot kick wide in a miss that proved costly within minutes.
After the break, Columbus began to apply the pressure and McInerney could, and should, have equalised but, with the goal gaping, he fired over the bar on 61 minutes.
Once again, profligacy cost the hosts dear as Michael Barrios fired home a second, before strike partner Texeira slammed home a third minutes later when Barrios's shot was saved.
Aaron Schoenfeld missed another chance for the Crew by heading over in the final minutes to sum up the hosts' goalscoring woes.