With the Tigers clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the ninth closer Joaquin Benoit was starting to warm up in the bullpen.

Before the Tigers made their second out Benoit was no longer needed to save the game as the lead had ballooned in the raucous ninth.

Eight consecutive batters reached base — seven on singles — and the Tigers quickly turned a nail-biter into a laugher topping the Mets 11-3 on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

The offensive onslaught made the two-run home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks afterthoughts as the Tigers swept the three-game series and improved to 12-5 in interleague play this season. At 77-53 they also have the best record in the American League.

“We just caught fire a little bit today and put a little flurry on them and that was nice to see” manager Jim Leyland said. “We probably strung as good at-bats together this series as we have all year throughout the lineup.

“The consistency of our lineup (and how they) grinded out their at-bats was probably as good as it’s been all year against tough pitching.”

The Tigers had 18 hits Sunday and outhit the Mets 41-17 in the series. It’s the first time one team has had 15 or more hits in consecutive against the Mets since the Montreal Expos in 1986.

The Mets trailed 4-3 in the eighth and threatened after Bruce Rondon gave up a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Lucas Duda. Duda moved to second on a sacrifice and to third on a wild pitch with two outs. But Rondon got out of the jam by striking out Marlon Byrd to end the inning.

“We’re trying to gradually bring him in slower and slower and give him a little more responsibility” Leyland said of Rondon. “He made some nasty pitches on Byrd and it was a little tough to see at that time (with shadows) so it worked out pretty good.”

With the eight-run cushion Jeremy Bonderman finished the ninth giving up a leadoff walk but inducing a double play and a lineout to end the game.