They left them gasping — as wobbly knockout victims have been known to gasp.

But did the Tigers cripple the Indians’ chances of being heard from again in the American League Central so severely this week that they won’t be?

After a stunning four-game sweep at Progressive Field capped by Thursday night’s 10-3 victory it’s tempting to say they did.

Manager Jim Leyland of course is saying they didn’t.

“Sometimes you just have one of those fairy-tale series” he said. “I can’t dictate what people think but the Indians haven’t gone away. I know better than to think that. I’m not a fool. There’s a lot of baseball left and I know what I know. I know they’re not going anywhere.”

If nothing else though the Tigers — who stretched their winning streak from eight to 12 with the sweep and their lead in the American League Central from three games to seven — not only looked difficult to beat in this series. They were are and hope they’ll continue to be.

Or as Indians’ manager Terry Francona said “This was a terrible tough series.”

One more victory with the team moving on to New York to face the Yankees and the Tigers will venture into 1909/1927/1934 territory.

Those are the only three years in which the Tigers ever won more than 12 in a row. In 1927 they won 13 and tied a game. In 1909 and 1934 they won 14 in a row.

In recent memory though what the Tigers have done is what they also did in 2011. They’ve won 12 in a row with Max Scherzer improving to 17-1 by winning the game that made it 12.

Scherzer recorded his 1000th career strikeout in the victory but the more impressive achievement was that he now has the best record of any pitcher after 18 decisions in Tigers history.

“He’s always good” said Leyland “but I thought he was pretty much vintage Max.”