TORONTO – Bobby Valentine insisted he wasn’t trying to be critical when he said his struggling Red Sox had “the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball.”

Two days after his latest inflammatory remark, Valentine tried to explain himself before Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays, offering an unsolicited clarification at the end of his morning media session.

“The other day when I made a comment about our September roster, that wasn’t meant to be a criticism of any players or anything in the organization,” Valentine said.

“It’s a statement of fact because of the injuries and our Triple-A team in the playoffs. This is different. We have less people than most September rosters. We have less positions filled than any September roster I’ve ever seen before.

“Anybody who thought that to be anything other than a statement of what it was, stand corrected on that,” Valentine added.

Last Thursday, the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of Charlotte to win its first International League championship since 1984. Pawtucket will play a one game final against the Pacific Coast League champion Reno Aces, Arizona’s top farm team, in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday.

Before Friday’s game, Valentine was asked what part of his team would benefit most from some extra call-ups.

“Are you kidding?” he responded. “This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball. It could use help everywhere.”

On Sunday, however, Valentine seemed eager to add some context to his comments.

“Usually a September roster has some starting pitchers who are waiting in the wings,” Valentine said. “Ours doesn’t. Usually a September roster has some left-handed pinch hitter type guys, or pinch runners, five or six outfielders. We have four outfielders. It’s not like a September roster.”

Boston has five active outfielders, but Ryan Kalish, who had shoulder surgery this season, is not expected to play.

PIRATES: James McDonald has been removed from the starting rotation. After a strong start, the 27-year-old right-hander has gone 3-5 with a 7.08 ERA in the second half.

TIGERS: Outfielder Austin Jackson sat out Sunday’s game against Cleveland with a sore left ankle. Jackson injured it when he ran into the wall attempting a catch on Saturday.

YANKEES: Andy Pettitte, who will return to the mound Tuesday to face the Blue Jays in his first start since breaking his leg June 27, said that missing so much time could entice him to return in 2013.

“I could probably say that when I came back, I thought there was no chance that I was coming back (next season),” Pettitte said. “This was a one-year deal. But getting hurt and only having (582/3) innings right now and you were hoping to have a couple hundred innings under your belt, it definitely gives me the option to consider coming back again next year, that’s for sure.”