Kyle Stowers of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team posed in...

Kyle Stowers of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team posed in Sarasota, Fla., Feb. 21, 2024. Stowers was sent down after Baltimore's Mother's Day game last year. This year he found out on the holiday he was coming back to the majors. Credit: AP/Gerald Herbert

BALTIMORE — Orioles outfielder Kyle Stowers found out Sunday he was coming back to the big leagues.

There was an unusual symmetry in the timing.

“I was optioned on Mother's Day last year,” Stowers said Monday before Baltimore's game against Toronto. “Being called up on Mother's Day was just, you know, cool full-circle moment.”

Technically, the Orioles announced the move — both last year and this year — on the Monday after Mother's Day. But Stowers said he found out Sunday he was headed back to Baltimore. The Orioles recalled him from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned outfielder Heston Kjerstad to Norfolk.

Baltimore also reinstated outfielder Austin Hays (left calf strain) from the injured list and designated outfielder Ryan McKenna for assignment.

Stowers has hit .240 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 36 games at Triple-A this season. He made his big league debut in 2022, when he played 34 games for the Orioles. He played 14 in the majors last year. Stowers has batted .207 with three homers and 11 RBIs as a big leaguer.

Kjerstad is one of four top-25 prospects — all position players — in Baltimore's system, but finding room for them is a challenge for the Orioles, given the strength of their major league roster. Kjerstad, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft, has appeared in seven games for Baltimore this season, going 2 for 14 at the plate.

Hays, an All-Star last year, went 5 of 45 at the plate to start this season before going on the IL. With his return, the Baltimore outfield is crowded, and manager Brandon Hyde said the team sent Kjerstad down so he'd receive more frequent at-bats.

“We feel like it was important for him to go play every day,” Hyde said. “This was a good experience for him, to get up here for a couple weeks, get a couple starts, get some pinch-hit opportunities.”

Hyde also couldn't be sure how much Stowers would play.

“Right now we've got four other outfielders, plus (Ryan) O'Hearn," Hyde said. “It's a good problem to have, that we have a lot of guys playing really well.”

The Orioles also claimed right-hander Corbin Martin off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers and optioned him to Norfolk.

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