NEW YORK — John Ryan Murphy spent a while in the minors catching Dellin Betances, hoping they could someday contribute on a higher level.
Saturday, they teamed up in a major way.
Murphy hit his first big-league homer and drove in three runs, Betances earned his first win in the majors and the Yankees bounced back to beat the Angels 4-3.
"I don't think it can get any better," Murphy said.
Murphy lined a two-out, two-run single in the second inning that gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead. The backup catcher homered on the first pitch in the fifth, tagging Hector Santiago for a 4-3 lead.
"We had reports on him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He did a good job on a changeup with guys on second and third early. It was up and he just stayed with it to right field. And he got a first-pitch fastball over the middle of the plate and he hit it out of the park. So, those are two mistakes."
Murphy made his big-league debut last season and began the day 6-for-36 with one RBI in his career. He played two weeks shy of his 23rd birthday while All-Star Brian McCann got a day off.
"The more time you're out there, the easier it becomes," Murphy said.
Last year, Murphy enjoyed a special moment, catching the final pitches of Mariano Rivera's career. Called up this month when Francisco Cervelli was hurt, Murphy made his own memory on this day.
"He'll never forget it," manager Joe Girardi said.
Especially because the fan in leftfield who wound up with Murphy's home-run ball gave it back to him. Murphy said the souvenir was going to his mom.
"I'm so happy for him," Betances said.
David Robertson posted his first save since coming off the disabled list. Mike Trout singled with one out and stole second, setting up a nervy ninth inning.
Albert Pujols followed with a foul pop, and first baseman Mark Teixeira drifted near the stands. But when he reached into the seats trying to catch it, two Yankees fans reached up and deflected it.
Robertson regrouped to retire Pujols on a fly and struck out Howie Kendrick.