NEW YORK -- Neil Walker's 18-game hitting streak quietly came to an end in Monday's loss. However, in talking to him one day later, that might not necessarily have been all that disappointing.

Walker, a self-described superstitious-type, had refrained from talking much about the streak while it was ongoing, though he admits now that it was impossible to ignore. That became especially true after he hit safely in each of the Pirates' games in Cincinnati over the weekend.

In doing so, the second baseman matched Rennie Stennett for the longest hitting streak by a Pittsburgh rookie since 1971. Only one rookie in franchise history -- Jimmy Williams in 1899 -- had a longer one.

And still ...

"Part of me is happy that it's over," Walker said, "but part of me is happy that it seemed like the hits that I was getting were good hits. Obviously, I knew it was going to come to an end at some point, but I was happy to put a string like that together."

Walker batted .364 with six doubles, two triples, five homers, 18 RBIs and 12 runs during the 18 games. His streak also marked the third longest by any player in the National League this season. San Francisco's Buster Posey hit safely in 21 games, and Corey Hart amassed a 20-game hitting streak.

"I'm team first, obviously," Walker said, noting his effort to put the hitting streak behind the Pirates' results. "At the same time, when good things like this happen, it's a new experience. Sometimes it's not a good thing to be thinking about when you've got situations where you think you might be walked or pitched around. You want to stay within yourself and stay within your game."

Leroux joins the Pirates in New York

NEW YORK -- One day after being claimed off waivers by the Pirates, Chris Leroux joined his new club at Citi Field in time to be available for Tuesday's game.

"It definitely feels like I'm at a new school," said Leroux, "but it's just a new chapter in my life. I was definitely surprised, but I'm happy. This is a fresh start with a new team. I'm happy to be here."

Until now, Leroux has known only one organization. He was drafted by the Marlins in 2005 and ascended through Florida's system before making his Major League debut in May 2009.

Manager John Russell said that he plans to ease in Leroux by using him in less-pressured situations. Leroux allowed 14 earned runs in 18 innings for the Marlins this year and has posted an 8.03 ERA in 22 big league games.

"I feel like I belong here and can do better," he said. "That's what I'm hoping to do in Pittsburgh."

Worth noting

Manager John Russell confirmed on Tuesday that outfielder Jose Tabata will not be participating in winter ball this offseason. The Pirates are pleased with the number of at-bats Tabata has accrued this season and want him to be fresh going into Spring Training. ... With his eight scoreless innings on Monday, James McDonald owns the longest scoreless innings streak (17) by a Pirates pitcher this season. Only three pitchers -- Cole Hamels (25), Joakim Soria (18) and Kerry Wood (18) -- entered Tuesday with a longer active scoreless innings streak. ... Heading into Tuesday's game against the Mets, Pirates pitchers have surrendered just one home run in their last seven games (65 1/3 innings). The last starter to surrender a long ball was Charlie Morton, who was taken deep by Adam Dunn on Sept. 5.